Posts Tagged ‘Teacher Appreciation Week’

Teacher Does Lesson Plans While Giving Birth

May 3, 2017

I dislike lesson plans immensely. I understand the value of it, yet it remains one of my least favourite aspects of the job. This teacher wins the medal for completing hers at a time when most would have it as the last thing on their mind:


Any woman who gives birth deserves a medal, all the chocolate in the world and a whole heap of praise, but a mother from Texas has truly proved that she’s superwoman – by doing her lesson planning while in labor.

Jennifer Pope, who gave birth to a baby girl last month, is the internet’s new favourite person after a picture of her working hard in the hospital ward was uploaded to social media. Photographer Andrea McDonald caught the candid picture of Pope working from her bed, which she then uploaded to Facebook. She captioned the snap:

“No, she is not doing her taxes. Those papers would be her lesson plans her husband is about to go drop off with her sub in the parking lot.

“Also, next week is Teacher Appreciation Week here in Texas. Spoil them rotten because even in labor, they care. No lie, she gave birth less than an hour later.

“This post is about showing the dedication of a teacher (I was one myself for many years). Seriously, be kind or scroll down.”

Pope, who has worked as a teacher for over 10 years and has three older children, told Huffington Post that she wants her picture to inspire other women to know that they can be parents and have careers.

“Being a working mom is hard ― like really hard,” said Pope. “But, it’s also so rewarding and fulfilling. I can’t imagine myself in any other profession.”

She added that she hopes the picture will help illustrate teachers’ dedication to their job and their students: “To many ― perhaps all ― of us, this is so much more than a job. It’s an all-encompassing passion.”


Click on the link to read The Letter that Brought a Teacher to Tears

Click on the link to read Students Care About Caring Teachers

Click on the link to read The Inspiring Things Teachers Often Do for Their Students

Click on the link to read Teacher Pens Moving Letter to Autistic Student

Click on the link to read Music Teacher Makes History at the Superbowl


9 Characteristics of a Great Teacher According to Parents

May 12, 2014


teacher quality


This list of of characteristics that great teachers possess prove that parents are extremely perceptive when it comes to assessing teacher quality.


1. They teach self-confidence.

“My daughter has gone from being shy and lacking self-confidence to being brave enough to teach a math class to her peers. She is shining and thriving and is excited about school every morning.” — Christine Sulek-Popov

2. They’ve got it covered.

“I know that my children are well looked after at school and I don’t have to worry because you will let me know if there is a problem.” — Erin Marsee Irby

3. They make kids feel special.

“My child feels like he belongs!” — Sherri Kellock

4. They know every child is different.

“You don’t compare his skill set to the other [kids in his class]. He is an individual and he’s treated as such.” — Athena Albin

5. Their commitment is unparalleled.

“My kids’ teachers are amazing. All 3 of them. They’ve brought my son out of his shell, they’re teaching my daughter how to be a leader, and they spend countless hours outside of the school time working on homework, fundraising, organizing class outings, and continuing to upgrade their skills all so they can be even better teachers than they already are.” — Jane Brewer

6. They have parents’ backs.

“My daughter had so many opportunities to see how valuable helping her peers can be, and you’re helping reinforce my lessons to her that there is joy in service.” — Debbie Vigh

7. They’re fair.

“My son is accepted for who he is. And you make the playing field even for everyone!” — Gayle Stroud

8. They’re always raising the bar.

“My daughter has grown in ways I never could have imagined. I’ve seen her flourish in areas I struggle in.” — Shaunna Glaspey

9. They generally rock.

“My son loves going to school everyday. You make him feel safe, loved, and included. It may be hard for you to see (since he is so shy) but he loves spending his day in your care.” — Jennifer O’Donnell Snell


Click on the link to read 9 Secrets for Raising Happy Children

Click on the link to read Brilliant Prank Photos Show Parenting at its Worst

Click on the link to read Little Girl’s Delightful “Brake Up” Note

Click on the link to read 9 Truths About Children and Dinnertime

Click on the link to read The Most Original Way to Pull Out Your Child’s Tooth Out (Video)

Click on the link to read Father Carries His Disabled Son 9 Miles to School Every Day

In Honour of Teacher Appreciation Week

May 6, 2011

To commemorate Teacher Appreciation Week, Tamara Duncan and the editors of Patch wrote a wonderful piece about the “teachers whose influence left an indelible mark on our lives.”

Stern voice, a warm heart

“One very influential teacher in my life was one of my high school and junior high English teachers. Gerri Clifton. She is now an instructional coach at Hazelwood West High School. She was a teacher when I attended the school. Being a person of color, at that time it was her and one other teacher of color at the school and she really bonded with all of her students.

“Mrs. Clifton was like a second mom at school. She made sure you were on your schoolwork. If there were a scholarship or some type of program she felt would benefit you, she would stay on you to apply. She also sponsored an after-school club, Cultural Awareness. It’s always important to have a person you feel can mentor you and in high school, Mrs. Clifton was that person for me. I see her now and she talks to me like I’m that same 15-year-old in class. Believe me, she wasn’t afraid to tell you to sit your behind down, pay attention and do your work!” Candace Jarrett, editor, Hazelwood Patch 

Empowerment through music

“Mr. Doug Carmichael introduced me and dozens of other students to the magnificence, versatility and depth of jazz. He did so by example. Mr. Carmichael made the music cool. He played a killer saxophone. He played along with the ensembles at Niwot High School in Colorado, demonstrating techniques and showing us how to pull off a solo. He pushed us to be our best, and he made us laugh. 

“Outside of the classroom, Mr. Carmichael took time out of his schedule to help students such as myself get better at our craft. He played alongside us, walked us through musical exercises and reviewed hapless efforts to transcribe music onto paper after hearing it performed on CD by the likes of Dexter Gordon. He invited us to jam with him and his trio at local cafes and restaurants. Some might say the birth of the cool happened decades ago. For myself and many other students, it happened when Mr. Carmichael empowered us to become performers in our own right.” -Nate Birt, editor, Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch

Lost in a sea of English

Ms. Pena, my first grade teacher in Houston, Texas, was a phenomenal person. I had recently moved to the states from South America and knew only three English words: watermelon, napkin and handkerchief. At that time there were no special classes for Spanish speakers and I was lost in a sea of English. Ms Pena was a ray of light in a confusing world. She made me feel welcomed, accepted and bright. She worked with me to learn English and clearly all her hard work paid off since years later, I’m a journalist.

I also tip my hat to Ms. Lewis, who taught history/social studies at Miami Palmetto High School. She made history fun and accessible and she was a wonderful, caring human being. She also registered me to vote and instilled a lifelong curiosity about politics. Oh, and can’t forget my son’s teachers at University City Children’s Center who help me co-parent him everyday, and are so very patient with him. Thank you teachers. You are heroes! 
-Myra Lopez, editor, University City Patch

Sharing her time, her home, her dog

I had an art teacher who lived next door to me in North St. Louis as a child. I felt lucky because she had time to spend with me when her second husband died and she had no children. But she did have a sweet little dachshund dog who I adopted as my own, since my mom wouldn’t let us have a dog. Mrs. Harnett didn’t teach in my school district or school—Twillman Elementary, so she wasn’t grading me, and that was even better. I was pretty shy.

We did all kinds of art on her patio under an oldstyle metal awning, sitting on a glider, with her little dog at our feet. It was hot Missouri summers, but cool under that awning. We drank ice water all summer while we did art. There were all kinds of art supplies in her kitchen, not much food. She also taught me to knit and crochet on rainy days, for some reason. I was game for all of it.

I drew a picture of her dachshund with passion, and later won a prize.

I grew up and moved away, but returned once to show her my design portfolio after college. She was very elderly then, and perhaps didn’t quite see how she had changed my life as she looked at my ‘snazzy’ magazine design and posters for off-off (OFF) Broadway plays. I won’t forget how she leaned over my right shoulder, showing me how to use that trove of art supplies, and waking up the right side of my brain.
-Jean Whitney, editor, Sunset Hills-Crestwood Patch

A pat on the back and a solid foundation

Without Roger Carlson, my late college journalism professor, I wouldn’t be where I am today. His experience and enthusiasm about the field is what sparked my interest in journalism, and he helped me build a solid foundation and a skill set that I still use today.

Coming from the “old school” days of journalism, he was never afraid to “tell you like it was,” but at the same time, was always quick with a pat on the back for a job well done. He shared in our triumphs and tribulations and his door was always open, even after we graduated.

He also served as advisor on the student newspaper and with his guidance, we were able to take The Forum to one of the top student newspapers in the state. Plus, he made learning fun by taking us to student newspaper conventions in New York, New Orleans and Washington, D.C., not to mention the numerous parties he hosted for The Forum.

He created a real “team” environment, from which many friendships were born and memories made. Many of us still keep in touch today – 20 years later – and still reminisce about our time together. That just underscores the fact that while he may be gone, he lives on in each and every one of us, and I know he’s looking down from heaven and smiling on us. 
– Sheri Gassaway, associate editor, St. Louis Patch

Challenged and busy

I was lucky, even in the very rural area of Illinois where I grew up, to have some truly remarkable teachers. There were no enrichment classes in my school, but my teachers kept me challenged and busy. Mrs. Clay let my best friend and I perform puppet plays for the class; Mrs. Allen encouraged me to create a fifth grade newspaper; Mrs. Green asked for my latest comic strip creations; Mrs. Farney entered my writing in a contest; in high school, Mr. Allen introduced me to the wonders of Shakespeare and then convinced me that majoring in drama might not be the best strategic career move (he was right!). They created an environment where I always wanted to give 100 percent—and love every minute of it.
-Tamara Duncan, editor, Lake Saint Louis Patch.

Who was your favourite teacher and why?

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