Person of the Year…the American Teacher?

Dec 19, 2012
Today, TIME Magazine announced President Obama as their Person of the Year. While certainly a worthy choice, we’ve been talking internally about who we would have chosen, and we believe there’s a case to be made that the American Teacher deserves the honor. Over the past several years the national debate over the role and value of teachers has grown loud and heated. Despite that, teachers continue to prevail in the face of increasing challenges — from dealing with a big jump in the number of their students who live below the poverty line, to an increase in students with special needs and those for whom English is not a first language. They face contentious political challenges. They’re facing comprehensive changes to the standards they must teach to. And yet…what we’ve seen, what the nation and world have seen, about the true value and power of teachers has only been reinforced by the aftermath of last week’s event in Newtown: teachers play a heroic role in America, and are the country’s ultimate support system. Teachers are the guardians of our children’s futures, and for that, we thank them, and name them our own honorary People of the Year for 2012. In a piece from the Hartford Courant, David Bosso, named the 2012 Connecticut Teacher of the Year, sums up why teachers deserve this honor. And we couldn’t agree with him more. He writes: “Other accounts of educators doing everything in their power to care for and shelter their students certainly will come to light in the coming days. In the face of unspeakable circumstances, they continued to fulfill the same responsibilities they carry out every day: to nurture, support, and love their children regardless of ethnic, religious, socioeconomic or other differences. Although many will say how fortunate their students are to have them, I’m sure that these educators would say how lucky they have been to know and teach their students. I’m sure that in each case, every one of these educators would claim that there was nothing heroic in their acts, that they were only doing what they could to keep their children from harm. They would perhaps say that they did what anyone with the genuine heart of a teacher, or a parent or a first responder would do. Perhaps part of their legacy will be a societal re-examination of the significance of educators and a better appreciation for our sense of duty to our students and our profession. Across the country, our educators commit countless deeds of kindness and altruism for the good of their students, colleagues, schools and communities. They expect nothing in return but to know that they have made a difference.” Thank you to teachers everywhere.