This Is A Great Time To Thank Educators

What a great time to simply say, “Thank you.”

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 8-12 this year and the National PTA is promoting its #ThankATeacher hashtag campaign. The PTA’s theme this year is “Teachers Deliver.” And what could be more appropriate?

We pore through the accomplishments of educators across the country every year through our LifeChanger of the Year program where we honor 16 with national awards and scores more with recognition in their home communities. In pretty much every case, these teachers deliver above and beyond what you would expect.

We just awarded our Grand Prize a few days ago to Ana Rubio of Earlington Heights Elementary School in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

She is certainly a teacher who delivers, in this case as a physical education teacher. But that, frankly, seems like a very small part of who she is and what she does. She is truly a LifeChanger for the students she touches.

“Ms. Rubio … sees the good in us, and she tries to give us the best possible experience in PE,” one student wrote on her profile page on the LifeChanger website. “She doesn’t let the bad moments keep her from teaching and caring for us. She truly loves her students. Thank you, Mrs. Rubio, for being with us unconditionally.”

Here’s what else she does that sets Ana apart. She founded a nonprofit called Streamline Miami to help underprivileged students stay healthy and active after school. It started as a baseball program for students and has now grown into a staple in the Brownsville neighborhood, and frankly, all of Miami.

Ana now uses Streamline Miami to make a huge difference in the lives of kids in her community. She plans field trips to music festivals and art museums, raises money for books and basic classroom materials. And she encourages and helps many students to pursue a college education.

Thank you, Ana Rubio, for all of the good that you do. As LifeChanger’s grand prize winner, she won $10,000, which is split with her school. Think of all that this teacher will still deliver.

We’re eager to thank even more educators. Not only is Teacher Appreciation Week an opportune time to say thanks. This is also the time of year when a lot of parents and students want to acknowledge the amazing work that their school staffs have done for them.

As the school year comes to a close, express your appreciation. Sure, you could give them flowers. Or you could them chocolates. But to be honored for the tireless work that they do day in and day out – and let’s face it, night in and night out – is truly meaningful.

We just reopened nominations for the 2017-18 LifeChanger of the Year awards.

It’s a great opportunity to show your appreciation, to #ThankATeacher. Or a custodian. Or a school counselor. Our aim is to recognize educators of all stripes. And we have over the years.

That’s why we sponsor LifeChanger of the Year and encourage families and other educators to nominate outstanding people. But what’s more important is to acknowledge good work when you see it. So take the time in the next few days to #ThankATeacher in the way that best expresses your own gratitude.