A version of this article originally appeared on the Illuminate Education blog on May 4.
If you think back to someone who made a significant, positive impact on your young life, you might envision a parent or family member. Or you might think of a teacher.
Teachers hold many roles beyond providing curricular instruction. They give us a physically and emotionally safe place to be and to think and to not always succeed on the first try. It’s our teachers who believe in us before we believe in ourselves. Who challenge us, who truly “see us,” and who show that we each have something that is uniquely ours to contribute to the world around us.
Teachers in every role—from classroom teachers to track coaches to school principals to college professors—show us how to learn and, more importantly, how to apply the process of learning to the bigger picture. Learning begets better questions, new perspectives, and crazy ideas. It inspires us to meet big challenges with bigger solutions and give us confidence in our ability to succeed and contribute to the success of others. We carry that feeling of confidence and value with us well into our adult lives, and it changes the paths our lives take, the relationships we nurture, and the expectations we have of ourselves. Teachers show us that it’s not just what we do—it’s how we do it. And it’s teachers who have touched the lives of so many of us here at Illuminate.
Our team recorded videos back in January 2020, before the school closures began. Given the current state of the world, these stories are more relevant than ever.
Teachers worldwide are helping students and families navigate times of immense change and rampant uncertainty. Teachers are working tirelessly to connect with each and every student, to provide support to parents, to ensure students and families are safe and fed, and, whenever possible, to continue learning: Learning to think, learning to overcome, and learning to feel pride in the things we do each day, especially when those things are very hard.
From the entire Illuminate Family, to every teacher, in every role: thank you.
⇒ Watch our stories by clicking here.