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Georgia school chief: Thanks to all the great teachers in the state

In this essay, Georgia Superintendent Richard Woods notes that today begins Teacher Appreciation Week.

By Richard Woods

The month of May is home, if you ask me, to one of the most important days on the calendar. May 4-8 marks Teacher Appreciation Week, a time to recognize the outstanding educators who spend each day shaping our children’s lives -- and to remember all those who played a role in shaping us.

This, to us, is a very special time of recognition -- so we plan to celebrate for the entire month of May, rather than just one week. I encourage all Georgians to click here  and download a special note of appreciation to send to your own favorite teacher. Then, snap a photo of your note and share it using the hashtag #thankagateacher.

A note to the teachers who are reading: I know that your work is far from easy. I know there are increasing demands on your time. I know there are many who don’t understand all that you do. I know that gratitude and recognition can be far too infrequent.

I hope, however, that you know and understand the incredible importance of the role you play. I hope you know that you are changing students’ lives. I hope you know, even when the days are long and the challenges are great, that there is a student in your classroom today who will remember you long after they have moved on from their schooling, long after the tassel has been turned and the next chapter of life has begun.

This is the way I remember my own teachers. I would not be the person I am -- and I never would have become a teacher myself -- without them. I know other Georgians have similar stories, and I hope those stories will be shared throughout this month.

On behalf of all Georgians, I say thank you!



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About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.