thank youIt’s Teacher Appreciation Week and we are taking time to Thank A Teacher.  Well, you know that we just can’t thank one, as we have a love for education and both of us happen to be “teachers’ kids.”  There have been so many people to be thankful for all of the many ways that they have helped us grow and our children grow so we’ll start from the beginning.

Matt’s parents for all of their hard work during their teaching careers, the learning they cultivated in their classrooms, and the kids they inspired to be great people. Even now, they continue to teach everyday, tutoring our son Owen after school via FaceTime. But most of all, we thank them for teaching their sons the value of an education and that hard work makes all the difference.

Laura’s mom and her commitment to the craft, her modeling of lifelong learning and the countless lives she impacted through her authentic connections. Her mantra everyday to every class was “make good choices.” She was Laura’s educational mentor, guide and guru and we miss her dearly.  

We also each chose a couple of teachers that we remember from our childhood who helped guide us (or just believed in our abilities!). Our thanks extend to: Ms. Young, Laura’s 5th grade teacher, for building her up everyday and helping her believe that dyslexia was just a bump on the path of learning that made her a better student; and Mr. Bombeck, Matt’s 5th grade teacher, for helping Matt to search for creative thinking in everything he did.

And of course we couldn’t write an article thanking teachers without a shout-out to our art teachers! Laura’s middle school art teacher, Mrs. Harjo, taught her to love fibers and helped her find creative confidence and her high school teacher, Mrs. Blake, showed her how to be expressive and find artistic voice. Matt’s high school art teacher, Mrs. Johnson, taught him to not be happy with the bare minimum, but to exceed it! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for teaching us.

We are so blessed that our children have the best teachers and caregivers too, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to see our kids grow under their instruction. Thank you to Owen’s teacher, Ms. Hughes for allowing Owen’s personality to shine through all the time, along with Mrs. Decarlo, for teaching him tips and tricks about how he learns best and Ms. Bernard who has been Owen’s reading rock.  Then there is MacQuarrie’s teacher, Ms. Inman (Kindergarten Saint): thank you for making school fun and creating a drive for learning and an excitement to come back everyday to learn more. There are also the numerous preschool teachers for our Tatum, who put their hearts and love into the preschool experience.  There are not enough words to express how thankful we are for all of the educators that positively impact our children.

Professionally, we’d like to thank our very supportive, always inspiring network of amazing educators that interact with us daily, both near and far. Thank you for always being a sounding board, a fountain of ideas, and a wealth of resources. We thank you all so very much and have the deepest appreciation for all our colleagues.

With both of us being educators we know and understand the time, energy, and dedication involved in teaching. We’ve often said it’s more than a career, it’s a way of life!  There are times that educators feel underappreciated and overworked and it’s important to remember that there are people who care about you and appreciate that you made the CHOICE to be an educator. We’ve always loved the Henry Adams quote, “A teacher affects eternity; he never tell where his influence stops.”  You make a difference each and every day!  It’s our hope that during this Teacher Appreciation week (and beyond!), that you know just how important and influential you are. For this we, THANK YOU!

As an additional challenge for Teacher Appreciation Week, we’d like to encourage you to THANK A TEACHER and post it with the tag #thankateacher via Twitter or Facebook.  It’s also a wonderful time to share your own teaching story! We’ve loved seeing all the @teacher2teacher and #whyIteach posts this week and we’d love to see more.

Creative wishes,

Matt & Laura

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