Teachers change lives. Who was your favorite teacher?

I am a mom of three kids.
My mom was a teacher.
I grew up playing teacher thinking that one day I would follow in my mom's footsteps.
However, life took a different path.
I am thankful that I get to be involved in my children's education.
I have been participating in some capacity in the classroom since my oldest son
{a sophomore} was just 20 months old and involved in a parent/tot class.
All of my kids were a part of a co-op preschool where parents "work" in the classroom as an art, snack or TA parent helper.  My oldest son started elementary school and I joined the PTO.  I've been a part of parent organizations {even serving as PTA president} for 12 years.
I've been "doing" school with my kids in some form for 14 years straight!
As the kids get older, I am still in their classrooms or at their school.
I get to work in the student store at my middle school daughter's lunch, serve concessions at my oldest son's school and volunteer in the classroom of my third grade son.
Because I am in the classroom and at the school, I see how hard teachers work.
I see that even when teachers are on their lunch break, they are still helping or serving kids.
I see that teachers are working long before the first bell and long after the last bell.
I see teachers buying supplies with their own money,
teachers coming up with new ways to engage kids in learning,
and teachers inspiring our kids to think outside of the box.
My kids have had many teachers throughout the years.
Most of them have been exceptional.
There are a few that have stuck out and I know my kids will always remember so and so when they look back on their education.
For instance, my oldest son was in Kindergarten at a private gifted school.
His teacher, Mrs. V. noticed that he checked out a book about algebra during library time.
He was working on the problems during book time and Mrs. V. realized that Aidan was teaching himself how to do algebra by reading a book.  She came to me and asked if it was o.k. for her to bring in an algebra professor to actually teach Aidan the basics of Algebra so that he wouldn't have to teach himself.  Of course I said yes, and Aidan spent several weeks as a 6 year old in Kindergarten working out algebraic equations.
When my daughter was in third grade her teacher Mrs. Larsen had a real gift for teaching kids how to write and understand the writing process.  I happened to be in class one day volunteering and was asked to help with the writing assignment.  It started with a writing prompt
 {I even remember the prompt! It was "if you could have a twin would you and why?"}
The kids got 5 minutes to write continuously {myself included} and then the students shared their writing.
I only participated in the writing prompt once, as an adult and I became a much better writer after that exercise!  My 8 year old daughter {at the time} grew to love writing during that year and learned not only writing techniques but respect and empathy through the exercises.
My youngest son is an out of the box thinker.  I am thankful that his teachers have all embraced his way of thinking and have only tried to redirect him and encourage him.
Last year, as a second grader in Ms. Hauge's class, my loquacious son Owen, who has always had a large vocabulary was feeling bored with the easiness of the definitions on this spelling assignment and decided to have a little fun with this spelling word match up. I love that his teacher didn't put a giant X on this in red pen, only wrote "too confusing".  We explained to Owen that it was homework for him, not an unscramble game for his teacher!
Just this year, Owen came home excited on the first day of school because his new teacher Mrs. Durr played "the best" first day of school get to know you game.  You write down three facts about yourself on a small piece of paper.  You wad up the paper making a ball and literally have a snow ball fight with the papers.  When the teacher says stop, the kids pick up the paper closest to them and they read about their new classroom friend.  This first day of school game left a huge impression and having a teacher who is constantly surprising the class with new fun activities makes it exciting to go to school and find out what is going to happen today.
Teachers change lives. Great teachers inspire kids and ignite a fire in them for learning.
Office Depot and Adoptaclassroom.org partnered together to raise awareness about teachers and all that they do in the lives of their students.  They traveled the country looking for great teachers that were going above and beyond.  Teachers who were inspiring kids and igniting a passion for learning.
Check out this video of a pre-engineering teacher empowering teenagers to shift the focus from themselves and put it on helping others. Brian Copes students make prosthetic limbs for people in Honduras from old car and bike parts.  Talk about thinking outside of the box!
Teachers are doing innovative things in the classroom every day and you can help them do even more by donating.  Donating your time or by donating money to a teacher that is changing lives.
Feeling inspired?  If you are a teacher, you can register your classroom.  If you would like to donate, please follow the link below.
  • How to Register Your Classroom as a Teacher
    1. Go to Teachers Change Lives website 
    2. Click on the red box that says "Register Your Classroom," which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website.
  • How to Donate to a Teacher
    1. Go to Teachers Change Lives website 
    2. Click on the teal "Donate to a Teacher" box on the Teachers Change Lives website, which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website. 
 Adopt-A-Classroom is a non-profit organization that connects donors with teachers to enhance the learning environment for students.

I'm sure it doesn't take you long to think about a favorite teacher that inspired you when you were in school.
Teachers are changing lives, but they can't do it alone.
Support your teachers.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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