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Category: Teacher Appreciation
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By Jeff Glosser
Director, Strategic Educational Alliances

Being a teacher is a profession many choose out of a passion for making a positive difference in young people’s lives. The idea to “serve others,” is often the center of this profession, as the hours a teacher works outside of their classroom is often equal to or more than the time they spend in their classroom. These hours outside the classroom are often where the mentoring, life lessons and “planting seeds” take place for a teacher to make a positive impact of their students. 

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By Diana Anderson
Master of Education in Secondary Education, College of Education

Today, districts across the nation are reporting a teacher shortage. This was not the case in the last generation. I can remember when teens were counseled not to pursue a career in teaching because there were no jobs available for teachers.

What changed?

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By MJ Tykoski, MEd
Alumna, College of Education

Science has always been a passion for me. I owe my early love of science to my father, who taught me a little bit about multiple scientific topics ranging from stars and planets to symbols on the periodic table of elements. As a child, I craved further knowledge and challenges in science, but through seventh grade my teachers either had little scientific knowledge or interest themselves, or they exhibited an attitude of amused tolerance towards my enthusiasm.

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By Stephanie Knight, EdD
Adjunct Faculty, College of Education

What other profession besides teaching chisels at the core of one’s being and causes one to feel so deeply, besides perhaps the clergy?

We give so much of ourselves. Burnout lurks ahead unless steps are taken to keep the heart wholly grounded.

There is an inner practice which must take place in the heart of a teacher, and if completed, no matter what endeavor he or she participates in, the ability to handle such demands shall be much more doable. Schools do a great job of professional development and techniques for classroom management, but what about reflective practices for teachers?

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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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