Today marks the end of Teacher Appreciation Week! This special week was created in 1984 by the National Parent Teacher Association to honor the passionate and skilled men and women who teach across America.
Like everything else lately, this week was a little different. Instead of seeing your favorite teachers in person at school, we hope you got to show your appreciation by whatever means possible—through a video chat, an email, an instant message, or other social distancing means.
We know a lot of students are missing their teachers right now (and vice versa), so we asked the CollegeXpress community to tell us about a teacher who deserves a special shout-out. Here are just a few of the awesome teachers out there who are making school and this difficult situation a little bit easier.
Mr. Zamora from Veterans Memorial High School
“Mr. Zamora is my favorite teacher. He’s very involved with extracurriculars, and his teaching style makes AP Biology fun. In addition to teaching AP Biology, Mr. Zamora is a soccer coach, PBS Challenge (quiz show) coach, robotics coach, and science fair coach. We traveled all over the country together from Pittsburgh to Phoenix for science fair and soccer competitions.” — Ibrahim Al-Akash from Corpus Christi, TX
Mr. Pereira from Summit High School
“Profe Pereira is a Spanish teacher, and I met him my freshman year. He's so nice and caring of all of his students. When people needed help, he was always there to clarify anything and everything. Even though I didn't have his class sophomore year, every time I visited his class that year, he was always welcoming. Everyone that meets him always says how nice he is and how they wish they could've been in his class. I can't wait to see him again next school year. I want to thank him for all he's taught me and give him a big hug for being so kind to me, for helping me with school stuff, and also just for listening. Thank you Profe for always being there!”— Celeste Villegas from Fontana, CA
Mr. Houchens from North Laurel High School
“Mr. Houchens is an incredible teacher with a vast and impressive knowledge of his subject. He takes interest in his students and relates to them on a personal level, making him truly exceptional.” — Arden King from London, KY
Mr. Bellini from Bethel Park High School
“Mr. Mike Bellini (11th grade English) is a great teacher and a great person. Not only has he gotten us ready for college and the real world by teaching us essay writing for college, he’s given us lessons on and relating to the real world (even though the in-person teaching was cut short this year). He also mixes in stories from his travels around the world, and his personal experiences into his lessons. He is the teacher I want to be. He isn’t strict but he pushes us to be the best we can be. I tell any sophomore I talk to who’s taking honors English to make sure they’re in his class.” — John Niccoli from Bethel Park, PA
Ms. Isenhour from Cedar Ridge High School
“My English teacher, Ms. Isenhour, is the perfect embodiment of what every teacher should aspire to be. She makes every lesson fun and memorable while connecting with students. Even during a global pandemic, she tries her very best to connect with us. She sends out surveys every week on how we like her teaching methods. She adapts to how we learn best, which is the mark of a brilliant teacher. She also shows a deep level of care outside the classroom; she is the photography club teacher, and she does a fantastic job. She’s kind in everything she does and shows genuine concern for her students. I’ve loved being her student, and I can genuinely say she’s been one of my favorite teachers.” — Anonymous student from Hillsborough, NC
Mrs. Minor from Comanche High School
“Mrs. Minor is the greatest teacher of all time. She not only gets the point across, but she connects with and cares about students as individuals. She loves us all and deserves the world!” — Shayson Lenee’ Hodges H. from Comanche, OK
Mr. Kelsey from San Jacinto College
Austin Rhoden from Houston would like to give a shout-out to Ross Kelsey!
Mr. Norman from Provo High School
“Tory Norman is a business teacher at Provo High, who’s also an advisor for two clubs. He pours his heart into every lesson, every afterschool activity, and every student. He's not only wonderful at teaching, but he's also an all-around brilliant man. He's kind and makes sure every single student knows that they're unique and more valuable than any mountain of gold in his D&D sessions. He learns everybody's names and has conversations with each of them, usually not about business or school but just about topics that person enjoys and how they're doing. I have yet to meet one person—whether that be administrators, teachers, or students—who doesn't love Mr. Norman. He's humorous, hard-working, sincere, and a wonderful light at Provo High School.” — Sarah Jane Bartholomew from Provo, UT
Mr. Martinez from Madera South High School
“I fortunately do have a favorite teacher. His name is Thomas Martinez, and he’s my US history teacher. He has always been so understanding, but he also never lets us give up. He can hold a conversation about anything without judgement. He tries to understand how we feel about certain things—whether it be how the class works or the classwork, he usually works around it. He’s also someone who you can consider a friend and not just a teacher.” — Jocelyn Avila-Nava from Madera, CA
Mrs. I from Griffith High School
“She’s helped grow my love for science to be stronger than it already was. Her class was what made me realize medicine was the career field for me! Mrs. I was the best teacher I’ve ever had, and I’m so thankful to have been her student.” — Anna Guistolisi from Griffith, IN
Ms. Moreno from Presidio School
“My APUSH teacher, Ms. Shelley Moreno, is the best teacher I've ever had, and the way she teaches in both a kind and stern manner has provided me with an example of the type of teacher I'd want to be.” — Anonymous from Tucson, AZ
Mr. Manning from Catholic High School
“Scott Manning is our religion teacher, but he isn't like a normal religion teacher. He gets us and understands who we are and what we go through, and it earns him a lot of respect from me and all my classmates. I don’t know if he’s ever been recognized for the great job he does, and I think it’s only fair that we recognize him for the phenomenal job he's done for us.” — Jack Schliewe from Baton Rouge, LA
Coach Rhea from South Hills High School
“I met Coach Rhea my freshman year, and honestly, she’s the best. She makes sure that we understand and gives us time to finish our work. She's not just a teacher; she cares about our feelings. When someone is down, she always makes sure that person is alright.” — Farah Hindo from Fort Worth, TX
Professor May from Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Sabrah McHenry from Clarion, Pennsylvania, would like to say thank you to Jennifer May!
Mr. Williams from Lanier High School
“The teacher I'd like to shout-out is Mr. Christopher Williams! He’s my Algebra 2 teacher, and he definitely helped make my senior year a breeze! He genuinely loves teaching and is amazing at what he does. Math is a tricky subject of mine because I forget certain steps after a period of time, but everything Mr. Williams taught stuck with me from beginning to end. I truly appreciate him for his kind heart and making math fun!” — Esther Anjolaoluwa Gbadebo from Sugar Hill, GA
Mr. Norris from Dillon High School
“I do have a teacher that deserves a shout-out. His name is James Norris, and he was my world geography teacher. He never gave up on his students. He always motivated me and treated me like I was his own child. He made every day better.” — Dukunde Marie-Paredes from Dillon, SC
Related: What Is Being a Teacher Really Like?
Why do you want to become a teacher?
Some of our survey respondents are also interested in studying Education and Teaching in college—in part because of the amazing job their own teachers do! Here are a few reasons why they want to pursue this profession.
“My eventual goal is to be a college professor, but I would also like the opportunity to work with high schoolers. I’ve always loved history, and I want to share it with others. I often tutor my peers, and one of the best feelings in the world is watching someone go from confused to excitement as they start to grasp the concept. High school is also a very delicate time for many teenagers; I aspire to be the kind of teacher that inspires students to keep going even when it’s hard. I’ve had many teachers in the past who’ve meant the world to me, and I want to be that for someone else.” — Anonymous
“I want to teach so that I can be a role model for kids the way my teachers have been for me.” — Anonymous
“It seems fun being around kids and helping them with life.” — Farah H.
“I want to become a history teacher because I have an interest in history, and I also want to give my future students a good learning environment while also making them interested in my lessons. I know sometimes kids just try to get through a class and/or absolutely dread a class; I want to give students the opposite experience.” — John N.
Are you interested in becoming a teacher? Check out our digital magazine featuring great Education programs, and find more schools with Teaching majors using our College Search tool. And teachers: thank you for all you do, this week and year-round!