CEA President Sheila Cohen extends a warm thank you this Teacher Appreciation Day for all you do each and every day.
Today, as part of National Teacher Appreciation Week, we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day, a recognition of all that is outstanding about public education in America and in Connecticut. Teacher Appreciation Day honors excellent teaching and learning. Each day our students come to us with a wealth of experiences, an enthusiasm for learning, and a genuine respect for learning.
Throughout the year, anyone entering our school buildings and our classrooms observes highly dedicated and caring teachers who make meaningful connections of teaching and learning. I once heard a teacher say, “Teaching is not what I do. It is who I am.” This statement had a profound effect on me for, I believe, it speaks directly to you, Connecticut teachers. In Connecticut, teaching is not what we do, it is who we are.
I believe that our state is a state of great school districts. This belief is shared by students, staff, parents, and so many members of our communities. Unfortunately, in these times of anti-teacher, anti-union prophets for profits, we don’t hear nearly as often as we should about how much we are indeed appreciated.
In Connecticut, we all work together and share responsibility for the success of our students. Therefore, we all celebrate and take pride in their accomplishments. Their success is our success. As school communities, we have reached this point through collaboration, cooperation, and communication. We are committed to maintaining this positive working relationship with all members of our communities.
This is a very special year for us in Connecticut, as we celebrate our member, Jahana Hayes, who teaches history at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, for being named the 2016 National Teacher of the Year. Hayes faced poverty, adversity, and an unplanned pregnancy in her teenage years. Any one of these issues could have derailed her. But Hayes credits her teachers with seeing her potential and encouraging her to imagine a different life –what the best teachers always do.
In Connecticut, every day should be Teacher Appreciation Day because we always have cause for celebration.
I am proud to be a teacher. I am proud to stand on the shoulders of all those who came before me. And I am proud of each and every one of you.
Stand proudly, and accept the gratitude – you deserve it!
Know that you are appreciated!!!!!!