Thank you for choosing to teach children.

Thank you for teaching them to read, asking them to write, for seeing the unique gifts in every child.

Thanks for asking hard questions and challenging learners with tough problems. Thanks for being vulnerable enough to let kids see you as a struggling learner.

Thanks for skipping lunch to spend time with a student that needed a little extra help or just time to chat. And thanks for keeping granola bars in your desk and knowing who needs them.

Thank you for every study session you have hosted, every club you have lead, every sport you have coached, every game you have cheered.

IMG_2687.jpgThank you for giving them a ride, cooking them a meal, bandaging skinned knees, and finding them book.

Thank you for lending an ear, helping them solve a problem, and finding them a place to sleep.

Thanks for speaking up on behalf of students even when your voice is tired.

Thank you for doing the books and keeping the lights on and mowing the grass (but not during silent sustained reading time, ok?).

Thank you for filling out that form, making that extra phone call, digging into your own pocket for supplies, and for making each other better so that together we can better serve kids.

Thank you for helping them see themselves not solely as they are, but also as who they are becoming.

Thanks for spending extra money to provide school supplies or pay fees for kids who need it.

Thanks for helping students fill out any and all applications they need your help with (for free lunch, for a job, for college, for financial aid).

Thanks for making that extra phone call to a parent or guardian just to say a student is doing well.

Thank you for being a voice for those that are not always heard

Thank you for the extra push, empowering each student to reach his/her potential.

Thank you for spending your summer “break” planning for next year.

Thanks for dedicating your time, energy and passion to the growth of others.

You’ve done a good thing with your life, and we just wanted to say thank you.

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Tom Vander Ark is author of Difference Making at the Heart of Learning, The Power of Place, Better Together, Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and serves on the boards of Education Board Partners, 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, Latinx Education Collaborative, Mastery Transcript Consortium and eduInnovation. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.


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