Honoring our Teachers
I met Susan Greenwood through my sister, Sandra, many years ago. Susan is one of Sandra’s best friends since forever. (The picture is of Susan, in white, and Sandra.) She lives with her husband in Virginia, where she is a 5th grade teacher. Susan recently urged Sandra and I to watch a new documentary by Davis Guggenheim, called Teach. We did, and we both were moved to tears. I sent a note to Susan a few days later. Sandra said it would make Susan cry. Then it occurred to me: maybe I should publish this note for the sake of all teachers. I did a bit of editing and expanding of the original note, and now offer it to all teachers everywhere. I do encourage everyone to watch Teach.
Thank you for being a teacher, and a great one at that. Thank you for all the years of diligence that only brought you to the starting point, the years of dedicated study and hard work and personal sacrifice that preceded your first day in the classroom. Thank you for the long days and weeks and months of your continuing dedication and love of your profession, walking with great courage and perseverance into the headwinds of a low salary, insufficient school funding, and so many other adversities.
You have not chosen an easy path; certainly not one celebrated and compensated by our popular culture. I want to celebrate you, if I can’t compensate you. I want you to know that I see what you are doing, and that I am thankful and grateful to you for being an exemplar of service, devotion, caring, and kindness. Susan, you are the source and soul of hope and inspiration for hundreds of children. You are their pathway to reaching their potential, to realizing their dreams, to becoming their best selves. You are our culture’s true hero, icon, and idol. Thank you for being a teacher, a great one, and an even greater human being. I know that the many seeds you are planting now will soon flower into towering, beautiful people. They will be your legacy to our world.