Teachers have a special place in my heart. They are part of my DNA … literally. Both of my parents taught in public schools, including my mom, who taught at my elementary school. They were my first teachers, and they instilled in me the importance of service to others and the critical place public schools have in our society.
Of course, my life was also touched by teachers outside my family starting with Mrs. Altenhoff in first grade, Mr. Mojica in fifth, Mrs. Carswell in middle school, and Mr. McLeod in high school, along with countless others. Although I believe in being independent, the fact is that we all have depended on others to get us where we are. Many of the people we have depended on were our teachers.
There is no other time in history when our teachers have deserved more recognition and support than they do right now. And right now, we have an opportunity to give back to them and to elevate this most important profession.
#TeachersCan — a statewide movement supported by more than 125 partnering organizations, including TASA, committed to honoring teachers and elevating the teaching profession — is working to raise $1.5 million in donations and partner matching dollars to help fulfill Texas teacher classroom wish lists through DonorsChoose. This campaign will run through Teacher Appreciation Week, May 3-7, 2021, and continue until all funds have been exhausted. Please encourage the teachers in your district to upload their project lists at DonorsChoose.org/teachers by the beginning of May so they can participate.
Many of you may recall the 2020 TASA Midwinter Conference keynote speech by DonorsChoose founder and CEO Charles Best. (If you missed it, you can watch the video here.) Charles shared how DonorsChoose is leading the way to give to public schools. DonorsChoose has also worked with our team here at TASA to develop a Texas Toolkit for districts interested in joining the free DonorsChoose District Partnership Program. It provides district-specific guidelines and reporting options. Current partner districts include Alief ISD, Lytle ISD, Midland ISD, and Richardson ISD. Find more information about becoming a partner here. However, please know that there is no requirement to become a partner district in order for your teachers to participate in the TeachersCan/DonorsChoose campaign.
As we approach Teacher Appreciation Week, we wanted to be sure you didn’t miss this opportunity for your teachers. Please feel free to share this flier with your fellow school leaders and teachers as an easy way to get the word out.
We also ask you to encourage teachers to visit TeachersCan.org and join the #TeachersCan movement, share their teaching story, find ways to show their teaching pride, and more. Those who want to support teachers, including PTAs or other booster or parent organizations, can also join the movement and find ways to get engaged.
This is an opportunity for all of us to lift up the teaching profession through both words and actions. Thank you in advance for joining this celebratory opportunity for Texas teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week this year!
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