Who is your special teacher?


By Erica Jones, President
Mississippi Association of Educators

This is a week teachers across Mississippi look forward to every year – Teacher Appreciation Week. It is a time when all of us can take a moment to thank those teachers who shaped our lives. I believe those of us who are adults now owe much of our lives’ trajectory to the influence of one or more educators in our lives.

Who are these teachers? They are the ones who stay late to help their students. Those who recognize the special talents or needs of their students and act on that knowledge. Those who communicate with parents and guardians to help them understand what is expected of their children in school and how to help them succeed.

Today, these special professionals have learned how to navigate the extremes of online instruction, combined with in-person instruction, with students who have had to navigate two difficult years of school.

Today’s teachers keep on going. They keep on teaching. They keep on encouraging. They keep on communicating. They keep on excelling in the classroom.  And, importantly, they keep on showing up.

That’s why we worked so hard at MAE to help make the largest teacher pay raise in Mississippi history a reality. We believe that despite a large deficit in the number of certified teachers in the classroom this well deserved pay hike will encourage teachers to stay in the classroom and attract new educators to our classrooms.

We encourage each of you to take a moment this week to thank the teachers in your life and your children’s lives. Tell them how much they have meant to you as an adult today and how much they mean to your children right now. Post it on social media. Send a handwritten note. Drop them a little happy.

My third grade teacher, Mrs. Debbie Allen, made teaching look so easy.  I loved going to school and seeing her produce magical lessons. Each day was an adventure!

Who is the special teacher in your life?