A Little Love For The Teachers

A Little Love For The Teachers

Stories of teachers who’ve transformed lives one story at a time

By Christina Quattrocchi     May 6, 2014

A Little Love For The Teachers

Teachers do more than just teach. They do more than change lives. They shape the future, one student at a time.

It is their dedication to their craft that help you learn not just to read and write, but to also recognize the importance of dedication, teamwork, and compassion.

But being a teacher is hard. It asks one individual to be more than just a content expert. Teachers must be evaluators, designers, counselors, performers, mentors, cheerleaders, and role models. Being a teacher takes everything you have and everything you are.

So, EdSurge and some of our friends would like to take some screen space to give you a giant THANKS!

Thank You Ms. Rocha

9th Grade English Teacher

"The beginning of high school was a really hard time for me, I had really unsupportive teachers, I wasn't prepared for the rigor of the courses, and I really dreaded coming to school everyday. After a few months passed, my mom took me out of that school because I was struggling, unmotivated, and unhappy. In comes the 9th grade English teacher from my new school, Ms. Rocha. I always loved English but I lost interest in most subjects at my prior school and she really re-ignited my passion for English. She brought so much energy to the classroom and really pushed our thinking. She cared about all of us and spent hours after school over the course of that year working with me. I knew she believed in me and she really took interest in my future. That's really all I needed. From then on I was excited to come to school and learn. If I didn't grasp a concept, I took it as a challenge and took advantage of all supplementary learning opportunities. I graduated high school with honors and a full-tuition scholarship. I credit part of the confidence and motivation I had to succeed to her."

--- Monique Cadle, Manager, National Programs, Education Pioneers

Thank You Mr. Appleby

8th Grade Science Teacher

"Mr. Appleby taught astronomy and also launched the astronomy club at my high school. I wrote to NASA in 8th grade to ask about what jobs they had and what I should study to work there, but it wasn't until I joined the astronomy club that I really learned more about space and the cosmos. Mr. Appleby gave me an excuse to wake my mom up at 3am so we could drive out into the west Texas desert to catch the latest meteor shower and the opportunity to to explore my interests, which enabled me to pursue a job with NASA in college."

--- Alma Rico, MBA Students, UC Berkeley Hass School of Business

Thank You Liz Solosky
Latin Teacher

“Aside from being a talented Classics scholar, Liz Solosky has a Masters in Random Acts of Kindness and on our small interdisciplinary Middle School team, Liz leads from the heart. She strengthens our spirits on a daily basis with her thoughtful insights and dedication to our students socio-emotional well being. She’s the kind of person who will bring you an unexpected cup of tea during a difficult class or leave a surprise candy bar in your desk drawer. If she borrows a package of staples, she replaces it with two more. Each day she inspires us to be more forgiving, gracious, and generous; our students learn so much from the excellent example she sets.”

--Gina Sipley, English Teacher

Thank You Carol Bright
History Teacher

“Carol Bright was passionate about rigor before "rigor" became a common term in the field of Education. Miss Bright has a true gift for helping students of all levels reach higher levels of critical thought, content mastery, and 21st century skills. Her love for - and devotion to - her students is unshakable, and remains her top priority no matter what turmoil besets her school. Carol Bright is an inspiration to her students, colleagues, and field.”

--Jenny Grant Rankin, Ph.D., Educator, Edtechie, Researcher

Thank You John Ring
AP U.S. History Teacher

“For teaching history like it should be--as a story, and not a rote recitation of facts. And for teaching the art of short, concise writing--as opposed to the "10-page minimum" papers in other classes that made me pull my hair out.”

--Tony Wan, Managing Editor, EdSurge

Thank You Charlotte Pickett
Kindergarten Facilitator

“Miss Charlotte is my younger daughter's kindergarten teacher. Charlotte welcomed my daughter into her class with open arms after the school year started. She gently invited Elsa to work with her after school for extra help. She communicates with the kindergarten families proactively and maintains an aura of calm even when there have been stormy seas at school. She handcrafts each child a glittery crown on their birthday and makes each kid feel special every day. I'm so grateful that Charlotte has been Elsa's first teacher.”

--Alice Myerhoff, VP Sales, EdSurge

Thank You Arnold Langberg
Chairman of the Board, Colorado Harmony Project

“Arnold (Arnie) Langberg is an exceptional innovator and visionary in experiential and alternative education. He founded and taught for many years at my High School - The Jefferson County Open School: a public k-12 school in Colorado that embraces personalization in its most fundamental sense.. students design their own curriculum, evaluate their own progress, and more with the assistance of a team of Advisors who act as not only educators but mentors and guides. After 40 years the school is still going strong and has an incredible book written about it: Lives of Passion School of Hope (Rick Posner, PhD). Arnie was also my Calculus tutor.. he taught me the beauty of applied mathematics and inspired my life-long love of physics, applied math, and education. Arnie currently leads the Colorado Harmony Project, an Integrative Arts program which pairs professional artists (music, poetry, theatre, and dance) with teachers to infuse the arts in everyday curriculums creating joy in the learning environment (more details here).

Arnie is a true inspiration and has changed my life as well as many others who have been touched by his ideas. His mantra and that of the Open School: Rediscover the joy of learning, engage in the search for meaning, adapt to the world that is, prepare for the world that might be, and create the world that ought to be. Enough said!”

--Margo Martinez, Director of Education Services Project Management, Blackboard

Thank You Carolyn Fryberger
Chemistry Teacher

“Carlyn embodies the best qualities of an exceptional teacher. We have collaborated over the years on several successful project ideas of which we are both proud. She is always willing to work at what is best for students. She is always willing to take risks in pursuit of educational excellence. She is always willing to go the "extra mile" to make content and educational possibility come alive. Working alongside her continues to be an educational journey full of personal and professional discovery and growth.”

--Jane Englert, Learning Designer and Technology Coach

Thank You Ms. Wood
11th Grade English Teacher

“For teaching me how to fall in love with great literature. For making me feel like I lived on Waldon Pond. And for inspiring me to believe that I could lead a life filled with adventure and wonder.”

--Christina Quattrocchi, Associate Editor, EdSurge

Thank You Elizabeth, Carolyn, Nick, Sarah, Mishaun, Lisa, and Andrea
Virtual Scholar Teachers

“This team puts kids first each and every day. Kids KNOW they care. They don't give up on kids' potential. And.... They make each other and me smile :)”

--Diane Berthoin, Administrator, PPS Virtual Scholars

Thank You Saramax Guttmann
Preschool Teacher

“Saramax and I worked together at the same preschool, and I learned so much from watching her teach. I've never met anyone with a greater respect for the intellectual and emotional capacities of young children. She believes her students are capable of learning much, and so they do. She understands that this learning requires the right kind of support and communication, and she provides it. She makes it look easy when it's anything but. I'm a better teacher and a better person for having watched her in action. Thanks for your dedication and brilliance, Saramax!”

--Rebecca Butler, Product Manager, EdSurge

Thank You Lin Muilenburg
Associate Professor

“Lin saw potential in me and invested in me in a way that has completely changed me as a professional and a person. I could never thank her enough.”

--David Yost, Mathematics Teacher

Thank You Rechelle Pavel
Third Grade Teacher

“A former colleague of mine, Rechelle, is undeniably dedicated to her third grade students. She is passionate about teaching, an innovator when it comes to edtech, and always on point. Here's a perfect example: Rechelle is the only teacher on staff with more than 30 kids in a class that teaches without a teacher's aide--kicks butt while doing it. She also helps out with the athletic programs, tutors after school, and supports continued edtech iPad implementation across the board. She's, in a word, inspiring.”

--Mary Jo Madda, Associate Editor, EdSurge

Thank You Andrew Sharos
AP History Teacher and Assistant Dean

“Andrew is an incredible educator, a true teacher and coach, and an all around amazing person. He embraces people with his full heart and creates spaces in which people work together to be happier. I have worked with Andrew on a number of projects connecting our classrooms, and each interaction with him pushes me to be a better teacher. At the heart of his work the focus is always his kids, and his excitement for learning and life oozes from him. Andrew helps me and so many other educators remember that we are responsible for so much more than just teaching kids, that our job is truly about relationships and leaving behind a better space than what we found originally. I am so extremely grateful to have Andrew as a piece of my professional network, and more deeply, as an amazing friend.”

--Jenna Shaw, Language Arts Teacher

Thank You Dick Baker
English Teacher

“Dick Baker is one of those teachers you never forget. I have a feeling that when I can no longer tell you the day of the week I will still be able to recall the name Dick Baker.

He had this presence in the classroom that allowed him to reach even the most disengaged students. His dedication to his students went beyond the halls of our high school. You could look to the sidelines or the audience regardless of you extracurricular and find Mr. Baker.

Thanks in part to his rapport and devotion, you never wanted to disappoint him. This enabled him to assign more, demand more, and get more out of each of his students. As a student that struggled with dyslexia, English assignments could be an especially long haul and a source of much anxiety. In an attempt to meet Mr. Baker's high expectations, I was able to find my voice and develop a true passion for writing.”

--Helen Resor, EdSurge

Thank You Jim Shelby
Drama Teacher

“Jim Shelby has inspired me and thousands of other students over the last 30 years at Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto. Besides encouraging my dramatic talents leading to a BA in Drama, he also wrote a letter of recommendation that helped get me into the Stanford Teacher Education Program. While I only taught high school for four years, I hope I inspired my own students in Math, Drama, and Computer Science, as much as Jim Shelby inspired me. And even though I do not teach anymore, I am still very active in helping students get the best education possible.”

--Greg Becker, Software Engineer, EdSurge

Thank You Becky Glover and Traci Kreppel
5th Grade Teacher and High School Math Teacher

“Becky -- Who has taught me about the joy of teaching and embraces every day with energy and a smile; Traci -- for teaching me perspective on the world and to keep it all real.”

--Betsy Corcoran, CEO, EdSurge

Thank You Robyn Chamness
Kindergarten Teacher

“Robyn Chamness was the Kindergarten teacher for all 3 of my children. She taught them so much beyond the standard curriculum. She set extremely high expectations for her students and they rose to them beautifully! Imagine my surprise when my shy 5 year old son wrote a "play" and then performed it on stage with his classmates! The students also learned about their family heritage and presented something from their culture to the other students in the class. Robyn empowered the kids to believe in themselves and to feel that there's no obstacle they can't tackle. A terrific foundation!”

--Amy McHugh, Business Manager, EdSurge

Thank You Christina Foust
5th Grade Science Teacher

“I worked with her when she helped me host a session of Engineering Change at her school. She went above and beyond, and I have never seen more appreciative students. She is a young teacher who has focused on self improvement and experimentation to deliver the best experience for her students. It makes my day every time she shares a great moment from her classroom. Keep up the good work!”

--Gordon Dean, EdTech Index Manager, EdSurge

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