It’s Teacher Appreciation Week!

School lawyers spend a lot of time helping clients work with the challenging few who, much like our friend from yesterday, probably shouldn’t be teaching school.  So today, let’s put the focus where it belongs:  on great teachers!

 Teachers of the Year from around the nation were honored at the White House earlier this week.  This year’s National Teacher of the Year, Mandy Manning, is a teacher in Spokane, Washington who works with immigrant and refugee students.  She had some inspiring words regarding this high honor:

“This year, I hope to engage the nation in a conversation about how we can encourage students to experiences things outside of their understanding.  When we move out of our comfort zones, visit new places, listen to others’ thoughts, and share our own opinions, we become compassionate and open.  This is the first step in creating a more hopeful, safer, and kinder society where everyone can be productive, global citizens.”

The President himself noted that “[w]e have teachers to thank for identifying and nurturing the boundless potential of America’s youth.  Sometimes, all it takes to begin the next great American success story is a teacher who really, really cares.”

My very own favorite teacher, retired Northside ISD Title I Reading teacher Carolyn Smith (who also happens to be my mom), was never a fan of “Teacher of the Year” awards.  I think this was largely because she taught for most of her career during a time when public education was widely considered a good thing and an essential component of a healthy democracy.  I don’t think my mom ever expected there to come a time when support for public education would be considered an expression of a political viewpoint, much less a subversive, minority viewpoint.  So let’s celebrate all our teachers this week, and let’s keep on celebrating the teachers of the year, and keep spreading the message that Mandy Manning put so well.  “Public schools aren’t failing. We are being successful, and we are changing lives.”


 Tomorrow:  Nursing peer review.  It’s serious business.