This is more like a Dear Diary than anything.

I work in education. I have the privilege of working for a nationally-recognized district who is constantly innovating in the classroom and doing phenomenal things for students. As an employee of  a school district, it has allowed me to truly reflect on my education and compare…not in a bad way…just in a natural way.  Additionally, this crazy weather has caused a lot of crazy things to happen at schools, too–delayed school days, students and teachers spending the night on campuses (Atlanta!) and a few Facebook rants by my partner-in-crime on Facebook. These things combined has made the role of a teacher top of mind.

Teacher SafetyPart of my job requires that I get to know our students and their stories-how they learned about us, why they chose to enroll with us and more importantly, what has kept them with us. It’s incredible the number of times the last question’s answer is about a teacher. Omar’s story–the link above–is quite incredible. He’s a student who completely beat the odds and because of the adults around him, the teachers around him, he has found success.

Teachers make unbelievable sacrifices for our students. Susan, Allison’s mom and the source of her FB anger, probably didn’t think twice before getting in her car on an icy morning because she knew that students would be awaiting her. The teachers in Atlanta didn’t think about their own needs when opting to stay the night in a school, they were caring for their students (above and beyond at that!)

I’m reading this book called How Children Succeed by Paul Tough. It’s a really interesting book about the characteristics that make us successful as human beings. Everything he says is true–grit, curiosity, optimism, etc. are all incredible influencers of our destiny BUT as I get older and now that I have an almost-school-aged daughter, I think it’s more than that. There is an intangible benefit and value that the amazing people, teachers, principals, etc. that our children spend 40 hours a week with have on their little lives. What do you think? 

It took me a while to realize it, but I finally get it when people say they [teachers] have the most important job, because they do. Teachers have such a profound influence on our lives. Can you remember a teacher who made an impact on your life?

P.S. Anytime I say the word teacher I think of George Michael “I will be your preacher teacher.” It’s terrible.

P.S.S. Tomorrow is FEBRUARY. #whatthehellhappenedtoJanuary




Vanessa Barry
Vanessa is the co-founder of Austin Moms Blog. She is also the Director of Communications for IDEA Public Schools, a nationally recognized network of K-12 public charter schools serving more than 15,000 students. She has a blast learning, loving and laughing with her four-year-old little lady, Caroline Grace.


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