Written by Derrek Studebaker, AmeriCorps Member serving on the New Schools for Baton Rouge team at Claiborne Elementary School.

To kick off teacher appreciation week, I think it is valuable to know why teachers do what they do. Throughout my early years in school, I always thought there were some teachers who just didn’t care about us as students or if we learned. I have learned that this, of course, was not true, and this year that fact has been solidified. If you get to know the teacher and ask why they teach, you will not only know that they care about the students, they will inspire you.

Every day at school we see some crazy, funny, and stressful things happen. It is really easy to lose perspective and get down on yourself. In times like this it is important to remember why you are there. I asked some of my team’s partner teachers why they keep at it through all the hard days.

Ms. Williams: 3rd grade English Language Arts

I teach because I love kids. I also feel that children should be educated as well as shown love!

Ms. Snee: 4th grade Math

I teach because I believe that every student deserves a quality education.

Mrs. Simpson: 3rd grade Math and Science

Nelson Mandela once said that, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” I honestly believe that. It’s the reason I do what I do. It’s the reason I come to work every day. My personal goal is to do everything I can to empower my students with an education that will help them be successful in life.

Mrs. Washington: 5th grade Math

I teach because it’s my super power.

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