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Monday, May 4, 2015

Teachers are the Real Avengers

May 4- May 8, 2015, is Teacher Appreciation Week #thankateacher, and all this week I plan to celebrate the Real Avengers: the Teachers!

I have been teaching for 15 years now, and I must say that as each year comes to a close, I begin to think that I have done all that I can do. But just when I start to think that it is time for me to move on to another career, it happens. Some bright-eyed 15 year old says to me, "You're amazing!", and because I look both astonished and confused, she goes on to explain, "I sat in the back of your classroom to take my test last week, and I have to tell you that I thought you were truly amazing!" And just like that, I decide to stay for one more year. You see teaching really is a thankless job. People don't want to hear that, but it is. Someone once told me, that if you give it, education will take it, and I have learned that that is one of the truest statements I have ever heard. Luckily, teachers know that we are needed, and that even if there are people in the world who feel otherwise, we continue to change the world, one student at a time. 

So this week, I bring to you the Avengers in my life. Their super power is teaching and being there for all kids in an ever-changing world, and in a world of takers, they are the givers. (Be sure to follow their "click here" links to see why they to teach.

Meet my Day-1 Avenger:James Aldridge (UNC Chapel Hill)

James is my friend, and for years, he was my voice of reason. Now, if you really know me, you know that I can be quite emotional, but James knew just what to say to get me focused on the real issue at hand. I had worked with James a couple of years before we became classroom neighbors and friends. The first year we were neighbors, I would interrupt his planning period if not everyday, every other, with my "unscheduled visits and daily rants" until I finally wore him down and my visits became a norm. Sorry, James, lol, but I have to say, that I'm glad I did it! I appreciate you!

Click here to find out why James chose to become an educator. It's real, and I'm sure you'll love him as much as I do! And oh yeah, doesn't he remind you of Bradley Cooper, I'm just saying!

Thank you for sharing, James! 

Meet my Day 2 Avenger: Daria Johnson (UNC Greensboro)

Daria is an amazing friend, and a natural nurturer. Over the past two years, we have come to rely on one another and I have to say that she and I work well together because she is the yin to my yang. Daria sees the glass as half full when I tend to see no water at all. She has a way of making me realize that things really aren't as bad as I they are in this busy brain of mine.  Daria has a calm voice and demeanor. She is my voice of serenity, and I love her. Thank you for sharing, Daria. You are appreciated!

Click here to find out why Daria chose to be an educator. You'll see what I mean by her being a natural nurturer. 

Meet My Day 3 Avenger: Tracey Wooten (UNC Chapel Hill)

I'd like to think that Tracey and I are kindred spirits and that is why she is "my sister from a different mister." I love this lady. Tracey is as real as they come, and that is a quality I appreciate and admire in a person especially today when the world is filled with so many fake people. I also have to say that while Tracey has a tough exterior, she really is a cream puff (and did I mention how much I love doughnuts); she will do anything in her power to help the people she loves. She is honest, she is real, she is sassy, and I love her. She is my voice of understanding, and to simply say that the students are lucky to have her is a  freakin' understatement, and that's #facts. 

Just click here to discover why Tracey chose to become an educator, and you will see what I mean about her being a caring woman. Thank you for sharing, Tracey! You are appreciated!  

Meet My Day 4 Avenger: Karen Oviatt (Indiana University of PA)

Karen is one of the most empathetic people I know, and I love that about her. She literally does try to walk a mile in another person's shoes. She seeks first to understand in a world full of judgment and that is a quality many lack. Karen also challenges me. Sometimes I don't like it, but I always recognize that the challenge is necessary. She helps me grow. She too is "my sister from a different mister", and we help each other see the varying perspectives that exist in life. She is patient with me when no else is, and I love her for that. 

Click here to discover why Karen became an educator, and I promise you will recognize the empathy and patience that I have alluded to. Karen, thanks for sharing! You are appreciated! 

Day 5 Avenger #1: Sarah Sammit 

Sarah is one of the most creative and giving people I know. She is genuinely a good person, and you would be hard pressed to find someone to say otherwise. Sarah listens and she understands, and what's more, she "reaches for your hand and touches your heart." She changes the lives she touches because she makes people feel important, and that's what I love about her.

So please click here to see why Sarah chose to become an educator. You too will discover just how special she is, and how blessed we are to have her. Thank you for sharing, Sarah! You are appreciated!

Day 6 Avenger #5: Carla Tuttle (Appalachian State University)

Carla is hands down one of my favorite people, and it goes without saying that I admire her as a person and as a teacher. What I admire most about Carla is that she always gives her best, and because that's who she is, that's also what she expects of others. Carla is a "go getter" and she rarely takes no for an answer. She is relentless, and it is contagious. She pushes anybody she comes in contact with to give his/her best and to never give up because that's not what she would do. Carla demonstrates for me what it means to set goals and see to it that they are met, and I am a better person for having her in my life. 

Carla is my friend, and she is one of the best teachers I have ever worked with. Her belief that all kids can learn is contagious, so click here to see why Carla chose to become a teacher. You too will be inspired. Thank you for sharing, Carla! You are appreciated.

Carla asked that I use a sunflower for her image, and so I did.  However, I chose a pink one because this month marks a year since Carla's victory over breast cancer (yay), and I didn't mind using the sunflower because it truly represents who she is. (What can I say, I'm an English teacher after all). 

The sunflower, according to Proflowers, is a "gift of radiant warmth, sunflowers are the happiest of flowers, and their meanings include loyalty and longevity. They are unique in their ability to provide energy in the form of nourishment and vibrance, an attribute which mirrors the sun and the energy provided by its heat and light", and so does Carla. 

Please take the time to #thankateacher this week! 

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