As I travel around Ohio visiting schools, I see great teaching happening everywhere — a teacher in Swanton bringing history to life through interactive medieval role-playing … teachers in Canal Winchester promoting the arts of debate and public speaking through the Model UN program … teachers at the Ohio State School for the Blind who facilitate after-school programs centered around leadership and daily living skills. Educators are making a difference both in and out of the classroom, and I am grateful for that each and every day.
If you think about it, teachers are on the front lines of creating the future of our communities and our state, raising the next generation of leaders. What job is more important than that? We all can recall great teachers who made a real difference in our lives and shaped who we are today. So, I know you’ll join me during Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6-10) in recognizing these dedicated individuals, the people to whom we entrust the preparation and development of our most precious treasure, our children.
Teaching is hard work, and often underappreciated. Nevertheless, teachers take on the challenge to provide each child with opportunities to grow and learn. It’s not easy finding ways to create a learning experience that reaches every child and ignites a love for discovery and the pursuit of new knowledge. But our teachers do it every day, and are constantly open to trying new things and learning new techniques to ensure the success of every learner.
Seeing a child learn, thrive, and ultimately become the person he or she is meant to be is truly one of the best, most cherished rewards, and it’s no surprise that teachers often tell me how much they love what they do.
Ohio’s strategic plan for education, Each Child, Our Future envisions that our students are challenged, prepared, and empowered to become lifelong learners who contribute to society. Our teachers are without a doubt at the center of that mission. At the Department of Education, we’re committed to helping teachers succeed in the classroom and supporting positive and collaborative educational practices. We also celebrate the teaching profession through various initiatives such as the Ohio Teacher of the Year program.
During Teacher Appreciation Week, let’s all take a moment, and hopefully more time than that, to recognize our caring, impactful and dedicated educators. I also encourage you to share your own story about teachers who have made an impact on your life through #OhioLovesTeachers on social media.
And to educators across the state, thank you, for your tireless work and inspiring efforts to support the next generation of Ohioans. We value and appreciate you for the compassionate, enthusiastic, excellent professionals that you are. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
Paolo DeMaria serves as state superintendent of public instruction in Ohio.