Teacher Appreciation Collage1Dear Friends,

When we look at the data and at the ways Tennessee is influencing national education conversations, we know Tennessee is moving in the right direction for student achievement. When we have the opportunity to spend some time in a Tennessee classroom, it is immediately apparent that at the heart of this success is the important work of our students and truly great teaching.

The recognition of the importance of teaching is why Tennessee sets aside the first week of May to honor the state’s teachers. The importance of great teaching is why the Expect More, Achieve More Coalition has collected stories about this student focused work from students and teachers for a series called Tennessee Success Stories.

Tennessee’s teachers go above and beyond to help their students learn and grow. These teachers leap out of bed to teach students algebra, like Kyle Prince of Rutherford Schools, or empower students with new knowledge, like Curtis Herring of Arlington Community Schools. Teachers work tirelessly to develop new approaches to support students who are struggling to learn a concept and students who are ready to take on more challenging work.

Many of these Tennessee success stories are from the perspective of students, and they explain how a teacher helped them learn something new or overcome a challenge. One student writes of the teacher who helped him master the use of commas in an essay, and another tells of the teacher’s support in raising his math ACT score so he is well prepared for college. The common thread in these stories is how teachers both challenge their students with high expectations and then work with the student to meet those expectations.

Even after Tennessee Teacher Appreciation Week has ended, let’s continue to salute our teachers. Throughout May, SCORE is sharing stories from the Tennessee Success Story page, our Educator Spotlight page, and more with the hashtag #iLoveTNteachers. Please take some time to read these stories and share your own story of a life-changing teacher on social media using the #iLoveTNteachers hashtag.

Tennessee teachers play a large role in making sure our students graduate prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce. Their hard work benefits not only their students but all of society. Their dedication, innovation, and consistent focus on students should be honored not just during one week, or one month, but all year.

Very truly yours,

Jamie Signature 4-2014