American author and poet Mark Van Doren once said, "the art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery." During this year's Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4 to May 8), we hope to honor Van Doren's words. A great teacher is someone who inspires a love for learning. When teachers respects natural cognitive and social development, there is room for children to approach problems head on, allowing for positive growth and development. The learning process isn't a simple one—nor should it be. Students learn through trial-and-error and self discovery, not when they are handed the exact answers to every problem. As Southeastern Louisiana University Professor Rhett Allain says, "confusion is the sweat of learning." In other words, the teachers who are able to provoke thoughtful questions and instigate students to reflect on their own learning process are the ones who truly make a difference in education. Children develop a love for learning when they are given the opportunity to discuss new ideas and explore other perspectives.
Since this Tuesday is Teacher Appreciation Day, we hope you take the time to reflect on your own education experience. Who are the teachers that most impacted your life? Is there a particular subject you became more interested in because of an inspiring teacher? How did that teacher influence the lives of students and families in your community? If there is a teacher who made a positive difference in your life, we'd love to hear about it. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on our social media with more information and we may highlight your story in our next blog post!