Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week in Charlotte. Below is a message I wrote to all the teachers and principals I have worked with this past year.
In high school, I was going through a pretty tough time and was thinking about dropping out of a special program I was in. I will never forget the day that changed it all for me. I was in history class and making a joke about a question in front of the class. My teacher, John Burton, looked at me with a puzzled stare. I was once again not taking his class seriously, and Mr. Burton wasn’t going to let that happen. He let me know I had more potential in me that I wasn’t seeing. He took a stand for me.
I was inspired that day to get to work and in the process I developed a real love of history. It was the first subject I really excelled at in high school. I ended up staying in the program because of his inspiration. I am not sure where I would be without him.
As educators, each of you have created thousands of stories like this for your students. You get up each day even when you are tired, and bring love and care to your students. You inspire kids to do amazing things and allow them to create their own life. You lift kids out of difficult circumstances and disrupt generations of poverty. Because of you, our community and our world is a better place.
Your commitment to making a difference is profound. And is just downright inspirational. I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the work you do. But most importantly for the person are and what you bring to work everyday. I appreciate YOU. Have a great weekend.