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Category: Teacher Appreciation
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By Marjaneh Gilpatrick, EdD
Executive Director of Educational Outreach and Chair of MEd in TESOL

At a faculty and staff meeting in Grand Canyon University’s College of Education, Dean Kimberly LaPrade, PhD, asked everyone to share their thoughts about Thanksgiving from an educator’s lens.

Some reflected on how Thanksgiving provides an opportunity for educators to make meaning of it with their students:

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By Lorin Marchese
Coordinator, Strategic Educational Alliances

Like many other teachers’ kids, I spent a lot of extra time in classrooms during the school year. But, unlike most, I also spent my vacations in them.

The school year was spent with my father who taught social studies and coached baseball and softball at a local Phoenix high school. Summer vacations were spent with his mother, my grandmother, who taught at a high school in Kearny, New Jersey.

Education is in some ways the Marchese “family business” and to be honest, for the longest time, I wanted nothing to do with it. I could not see how they both enjoyed their jobs so much. I could not understand how they could enjoy all of the extra hours and the complaining that came from the students and parents. The idea of teaching, of being anywhere near a classroom, was the furthest thing from my mind. 

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By Katey McPherson
Adjunct Faculty, College of Education 

Teaching and learning have always been embedded in my DNA.

From a young age, I found myself sitting in my mom’s high school French classroom, watching my dad in the courtroom and observing my stepmother lift families through social work in the depths of Detroit public schools. There was not much conversation about a career path. It just was sort of understood in my mind.

I would teach.

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By Jennifer Zaur
Adjunct Faculty, College of Education

I will never forget my first Teacher Appreciation Week.

I was teaching fifth grade at the time. I had a wonderful group of students, but there was one boy in my class who was a bit of a challenge. He knew exactly how far he could push things and always would fight me when I pushed him to excel in his academics.

One day, he came into my class with a huge smile on his face and a gift in his hand for Teacher Appreciation Week. As I pulled out a ceramic brown bear figurine with a rainbow trout hanging out of the bear’s mouth, Randy’s smile got even bigger.

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By Brandon Juarez, MEd
Online Full-Time Faculty Manager, College of Education

The transformative power of an effective teacher resonates with almost all of us. This is why the largest influence on the success and long-term academic well-being of students is the classroom teacher (Tucker & Stronge, 2005).

When surveyed, pre-service teachers often give one of two responses when prompted as to why they are entering the field of education:

  1. They had a wonderful teacher that dramatically shaped their life.
  2. They had a terrible experience and seek to change the past by impacting the future.
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By Kendra Stewart, DBH
Online Faculty, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

In May, there is one week dedicated to the recognition of teachers and their willingness and duty to serve. Yet, this appreciation should not stop when the hustle of a new school year begins.

So, now that back-to-school season is here, let’s contemplate all that they do to help nurture all of their students’ academic, intellectual and emotional abilities and skills. For me, it is acknowledging that someone dedicates their time and energy to the learning needs of others.

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