Can you think back on a moment where a teacher inspired you? I can. There are countless words of wisdom I was given, many memories of educators going above and beyond, and numerous times where I was positively influenced in and out of the classroom.

May 2-6, 2022, is Teacher Appreciation Week­ — a weeklong celebration to honor teachers and reflect on the ones who have made an impact on our lives. The tradition of Teacher Appreciation Week comes from the National Teacher Appreciation Day that is celebrated on a Tuesday every first week of May, according to the National Day Calendar. Teacher Appreciation Week is an excellent way for students and parents to reflect on the enormous role that teachers play in their daily lives.

From adapting to virtual classrooms during the pandemic to wearing the many hats of counselor, friend, cheerleader and mentor — the dedication of a teacher is unmatched. Those that lead the classroom today truly shape the next generation of learners and carry immense responsibility to help prepare them for careers and challenges that don’t yet exist.

Tennessee’s educators exceed the expectations, going above and beyond to help their students learn and grow. We know that our state has made great gains in student achievement and teachers are the top in-school factor in raising academic achievement. The resilience and dedication demonstrated from educators during the pandemic has been remarkable. Educators experience a unique set of challenges daily, making an already tough job even more challenging.

Throughout the week, SCORE is sharing stories from past and present educators. We invite you to engage with us on social media using the hashtag #TeacherAppreciationWeek as we honor those who educate. Be sure to take some time to read these stories and share your stories about how a teacher has positively impacted your life or helped shape the lives of your children.

SCORE recognizes that educators have one of the most important jobs in the world. Today, and every day, we want to thank and celebrate those difference makers in Tennessee. We appreciate all that teachers do to bring learning and knowledge to the next generation, and to light the way to a more promising future.

Kennisha Stowe is SCORE’s social media manager.