Saturday, November 15, 2014

American Education Week : Celebrate an Educator

Mark your calendars for American Education Week, scheduled for Nov. 17-21, 2014. The weeklong celebration presents opportunities to celebrate public education and honor the teachers who make a difference in the lives of children in classrooms across America. 

Fun fact: The first observance of American Education Week took place in Dec. 1921.   

Flourishing In Education By: Alecia Gardner
Who do you consider an educator? I have studied, researched, and my ideas have evolved throughout the years in trying to answer this question. I have even written a book on the subject of the difference in a teacher and an educator. However, one of the best definitions I have found came from Sr. Geralyn Schmidt, "An educator coaches individuals to become what is essential — to develop into human beings who are fully alive." 

Education has been deemed a thankless career field, with consistently low pay. However, there is no greater payment in the world than seeing students succeed.  True educators see the thanks in the smiles, hugs, and shouts of excitement. We embrace the joy that comes when a child "gets it," for the first time. We celebrate the small victories, and look at failure as a chance to grow. Educators do not give up even when a student has thrown in the towel.  Instead we research, design, plan and come up with another way to make a connection. 

I know from personal experience, an educator can change your life forever. Mrs. Frederick, my first grade teacher, taught me about what it means to be an educator during a terrible time in my life.  (Read more about The Moment I became an Educator). When I had thrown in the towel she was there to show me how to get back in the game. She taught me that education means more than just lesson planning, instructional strategies and assessments. Education is about developing relationships, and creating opportunities for students to become who God intended them to be. 

I know at Cardinal Community School District we embrace Schmidt's definition of an educator. We have a wonderful community of learners and educators within our district.  

So, this week as we celebrate National Education Week, we will have activities, thank you cards/letters and goodies for parents, support staff, teachers, paraeducators, secretaries, bus drivers, janitors, and substitutes to enjoy. We will celebrate their dedication and commitment to our students and to each other. 

 I extend a challenge to all who read this blog post to share it, comment with the name(s) of your favorite educator(s), and contact an educator in your life to thank him or her for helping you become "fully alive." Let's see how many educators we can impact this week with a simple act of kindness for the countless hours they have dedicated to developing "human beings who are fully alive." 

Monday :Kick Off Day
Tuesday: Parent Day
Wednesday: Support Staff Day
Thursday: Educators Day
Friday:Substitute Educator Day