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Monday, May 2, 2022

As we think about our changing educational landscape and all of the moving parts, it is so important to focus on what matters most — that every student has an opportunity to succeed and teachers feel supported as they help students find their path forward.

“Every child deserves a champion - an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” Rita Pierson

Teachers are champions for their students and each other. And I am so grateful for the champions who are serving in our classrooms across this great state. Teachers dedicate their lives to supporting one another and becoming the best they can be because teaching is not just a profession, but a profoundly impactful community of innovation and inspiration.

As I travel across the state, I see our champions in action and witness their passion and purpose as they create spaces where all students feel supported in their learning. I see teachers being intentional as they develop meaningful connections, which are so important for our students to learn and grow in their confidence and abilities.

I saw this during my recent visit to West Delaware Community Schools when I stopped by Kaitlyn Hunt’s first grade classroom at Lambert Elementary School. Her students had a sense of belonging where different perspectives and contributions were enthusiastically welcomed as they shared their ideas during a lesson focused on problem-solving and decision making.

I saw this at the Storm Lake/Iowa Central/Buena Vista Charter School, where their teachers help design meaningful individual career plans based on each student’s unique goals and abilities to build their path forward and grow confidence in their future.

And I see this in my hometown of Grundy Center, where Vicki Murphy welcomes all students into her high school classroom because she knows that students who feel safe and comfortable with their teachers are more likely to succeed in their learning.

These are just a few of the extraordinary teachers who nurture inspiration and touch our children’s lives every day. But we want to recognize more.

With this week being Teacher Appreciation Week, there has never been a better time to recognize and thank all teachers for the work they do. Throughout the week, we will be showcasing some more of Iowa’s amazing teachers on our website and social media. These teachers graciously shared their insights and thoughts on student success, moving education forward and why they are passionate about their profession. We also asked them to talk about their own favorite teacher and the difference that teacher made in their lives.

While I believe that every week should be teacher appreciation week, this week serves as an important reminder for all of us to recognize the teachers who have made a difference in our lives. I’ve personally had many teachers who have helped me along the way. This week, I invite you to join me on social media using the hashtag #MyTeacherMyChampion to recognize your favorite teachers and thank them for the impact they have made on your lives.

Thank you teachers for lending your time, talent and passion to helping our students become the best they can possibly be.

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Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on September 27, 2022 at 6:30am.