- A teacher in Shelby County, TN
This past fall a former student called me and told me that her grandmother had died. She wanted my help because her mother wanted to read a poem at her grandmother's service. At the end of the day I met with her and gave her a poem for her mother to read. I got a hug in exchange.
- A teacher in Norris, TN
My strength as a teacher has always been developing relationships with my students. The most important thing I think I have ever done in my teaching career happened when a female student confided in me with a dark secret that she had been enduring for years. Her mom and stepdad had been molesting her for a number of years. She had never told anyone. I was shocked. I immediately talked to the right people to get her help. The parents went to prison. She went through many tough years due to all she had been through. She ran away several times. Whatever happened, we remained in touch. The bond we developed never ended. She is now in her early twenties in a serious relationship with soon to be stepchildren. She will be starting college soon. She still calls me and send me pictures of her and her family. She means so much to me. What we experienced together changed so much about me and how I view the world. I now am always looking for these kids and sadly, have found quite a few more in similar situations.
- A teacher in Tipton County, TN
A few years ago two former students invited me to go to the midnight showing of the opening of a Harry Potter movie. I taught them in 5th grade and they were college sophomores. Their invitation said, "Reading is the reason that we're still such good friends, and you reading Harry Potter to us is the reason that we both still love to read."
- A teacher in Knox County
My Principal received an email from a parent saying how much they appreciated me for teaching their daughter the "love" of reading
- A TN teacher, district unknown
My daughter's teacher called my husband to let him know that our daughter broke down crying after not being able to answer questions on the constructed response assessment (a Common Core test). She, along with other teachers & guidance counselors, loved on our daughter and let her know her value isn't measured by ridiculous tests.
- A parent in Franklin County, TN
I have a group of 6-10 boys who don't like to eat in the cafeteria. They come to my room. No duty-free lunch for me, but I like these kids and appreciate that they don't like the crowd-scene in the cafeteria. I provide low-key counseling.
- A Norris, TN teacher
I teach all seniors- this student graduated last year- I mentored her the entire Spring semester when she was was cutting herself to deal with stress, anger, and emotional pain. She was also considering suicide. I was on call 24 hr for her to text me if she was in danger of cutting or going over the edge. We are still very close--I took her to get her first tattoo after graduation before she went to college in the fall. She also brought her boyfriend by my house- for me to meet- and approve of- this year. -she recently sent me this message. "S" is her boyfriend. "I'm really glad we're friends. S*** told me to thank you. He's 100% sure you saved my life."
- A selfless TN teacher in Winchester, TN
I have a girl in one class whose mother died a couple of years' ago. She has never been clear about how her mother died. She says that she doesn't know. This girl is always at my side. Always wants to sit at the front of the class. Always wants lots of attention from me. I found her to be exhausting at first, but now I know why she is so needy. I give her lots of attention.
- a teacher from Metro Nashville, TN
The best compliment I ever got......a parent told me that her daughter had said to her, "Mom, if I ever needed anything, I know I could go to Mrs. Hopson and she would help me out."
- Teacher of the Year for 2013-14 in Knox County, TN
I read Darren Shan's series of Cirque du Freak books to my students. They liked them so much the librarian had to order more of them, and they asked for the books for presents. We even met one Saturday to watch the movie together
-teacher from Knoxville, TN
7 years ago the house of a student of mine burnt to the ground. She and her mother were both very large plus-sizes, so I guessed that most clothing donated to the family by the general public would not fit them. I am a plus size, so I immediately went home and cleaned out my closets and drawers and filled three extra large plastic bags with clothes and shoes and accessories. When the girl returned to school in a couple of days, I told her discretely during class that I had some donated clothes for to take home. Her mom met me in the pick up line after school to load the three sacks of clothes into her car, and she and her daughter were so appreciative of the bright, colorful and stylish plus-size clothes. For the rest of the semester, it made me feel warm and fuzzy inside to see the girl wearing some of my donations. She told me that her mother had chosen more of the clothes because the style was more for women than for teens, but she was thankful for all that i had given them since they had lost everything.
- A teacher in Murfreesboro, TN
I worked w/3 other amazing 6th grade teachers. We had a handful of kids we knew were pretty much on their own once they went home. Weekends were a terribly long time to these kids. We made sure that each one of them went home each Friday w/enough food to last them (and their siblings) the weekend. When winter came- they had coats, hats, gloves and anything else they needed.
- A Teacher in Washington County, TN
I have volunteered my time to tutor my low kids in reading and math for the past 2 years... with NO PAY involved
- A selfless TN teacher
It is impossible to put a numerical rating on the value of teachers.
Have you ever met a rich teacher??? We haven't. They aren't in the teaching profession to get rich, they are in it to make a difference in children's lives. Teachers are down-to-earth, hard-working, servant-leaders. They deserve respect and admiration.
***Legislators: please vote YES for the Teacher Respect Act (HB 2263 / SB 2047) which prohibits the use of test scores for teacher license decisions. Don't let the State bully teachers any more.
(photos at left)
From Tullahoma, TN:
An amazing teacher, mother, and mentor who became a foster parent.