Sunday, May 4, 2014

Teacher Appreciation

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I've been motivated, inspired, and changed by the teachers who have been (and are) in my life.

Here, I'd like to thank just a few who are part of making me who I am today--both as a teacher myself and as an individual. (Inevitably, I've left out names that have impacted me in major ways, but I wanted to name names, to be direct, so I had to be picky. I didn't want to simply say "My English Department", for example, no matter how true that is. Ask me tomorrow, I'd come up with more names for each category.)

I don't know how things catch fire and become digitally viral, but I would LOVE it if teacher appreciation did just that. So, if you want to give appreciation, fill out this form: Teacher Appreciation. Tell the world what teacher you appreciate.

My Colleagues of Spring Lake Public:
*Joe Sinn--I appreciate the way he uses humor and literary skill to teach
*Mark Webster--I appreciate the way he is passionate in the educational political arena
*Kent Higgs--I appreciate our hallway conversations and how he uses technology in his math classroom
*Eric Kipling--I appreciate his passion and his honesty
*Garth Trask--I appreciate his motivation, his willingness to help me by asking me thought-provoking questions

Former Teachers:
*PH (Paul Wolbrink)--I appreciate the way he celebrated my work
*Sandy Clark--I appreciate the way she pushed me to read challenging literature
*Pat Foley--I appreciate how he got me to open up, to be confident in my own skin
*Daina Robins--I appreciate her for giving me tough love--followed by love
*Mary Bolt--I appreciate her being my security blanket in my challenging move from Iowa to Michigan back in 3rd grade

Current Teachers in Other Districts:
*Greg Kobylak (Fruitport)--I appreciate his passion for his subject and for our candid conversations on the state of education
*Trent Klairter (Reeths Puffer)--I appreciate his energy
*Erica Beaton (Cedar Springs)--I appreciate her encouragement in keeping me moving forward
*Kelly VanderHoek (Coopersville)--I appreciate her connection to kids and her willingness to learn
*Lindsey Boyle (East Kentwood)--I appreciate her fire; it's contagious

The Pros Who Have Taught Me:
*Penny Kittle--I appreciate her for modeling high-quality teaching
*Kelly Gallagher--I appreciate his deep concern for the quality of reading we do in our schools
*Jeff Anderson--I appreciate the energy and passion he brings to technique
*Brene Brown--I appreciate her reminder to "Dare Greatly"
*Emily Bazelon--I appreciate her willingness to connect with her readers