May is Teacher Appreciation Month. We all know that true change starts with an education, right?
Our teachers are the ultimate of unsung heroes in this world.
Teachers are, as Jarred Vermillion says, Everyday Superheroes. Teachers are the ultimate professional athletes of school. Teachers are the CEOs of their classrooms.
To give some perspective, the national average that teachers spend on their classroom is $500 and almost all teachers spend their own money.
In an article from We Are Teachers, they shared that teachers work an average of 400 hours in unpaid “overtime” per year!
AND that nearly 30% of teachers have a second job!!! Yah, you’re reading that right!
AND to keep the shock and awe going, over 65% of teachers have used their own money to pay for meals and field trips for their students!
It’s reasons like this that have us in awe of teachers out there. This left Amy & I remembering the teachers who made a lasting impact in our own lives.
For Amy & I, so many of our childhood memories came from teachers in our hometown of Eureka, California. Our lives have been forever impacted by Mrs. Cables, Mrs. Linda Forbes, Mr. Chavez, Mrs. Salter, Mr. Garrett, Mr. Stephen Miller and Mr. Chapman.
These are a few of our favorite teachers and I’m sure you can think of those who positively impacted your life too. Teachers inspire, uplift and mold the minds of our youth and future leaders.
So, we decided that in the month of May, we want to have a weekly conversation that celebrates and recognizes our teachers -- their impacts and contributions!
To those teachers out there, WE SEE YOU & CELEBRATE YOU!
Today it is our honor to celebrate 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Shannon Johnson, who is a teacher in the Temecula Valley Unified School District.
We received the most amazing video of Mrs. Johnson being recognized with an I See You Moment and celebrated with an I See You® Candle (w/ a wish) from her classroom mom and students who wanted to recognize her.
All 32 students wrote what they called I See You notes that expressed their appreciation, why they enjoy her as their teacher and what act of service they are willing to do in her honor.
When we asked classroom mom, Andrea Vermillion, why she created this amazing I See You Moment, she shared, “It’s important Mrs. Johnson knows she’s appreciated and that she knows she’s seen. Teachers like her deserve to be supported and know how important they are so they can maintain year after year.”
We hope you enjoy our interview with Mrs. Shannon Johnson and join us in celebrating the amazing teacher that she is………..15 years and counting!
Why did you decide to go into teaching?
I went into teaching because I love kids. Ever since I can remember I always loved being around kids and I love how eager they are to learn new things. I also like making a difference and hopefully leaving a good impression with all the kiddos who come into my class.
How long have you been a teacher?
This is my 15th year teaching. I've done Kinder, First, Second and now Fourth grade.
What’s your favorite thing about being a teacher at this point in your career?
I still love just being able to teach such eager minds and seeing them make connections with their learning. When I see them excited about what they are learning or excited that they finally understand the concept being taught, I can't help but to love teaching. I also love making connections with the kiddos and letting them know they are amazing and important... that I see them!
Did you know that you were being recognized that day?
No! I thought she was going to talk to the kids and I was going to maybe step out so I didn't hear what she was planning. I had no idea, but it was such a great surprise.
What did it feel like to be recognized by your students?
It was very emotional for me. I try my very best to make sure they know I think they are amazing, and after hearing/reading their I See You's I think I'm making a good impression on them and they realize how important they are to me. Some who are bashful really wrote how they felt and if it weren't for the I See You I wouldn't have known what they thought.
What does it mean to you to be seen for who you are-as an amazing teacher?
It means a lot because it isn't always easy. I haven't read all of them yet... I've been spreading them out because they are little "pick me ups" and the kids get so excited to hear theirs being read.
What kind of things did they write in their letters/notes? How do they help?
They wrote how I've taught them things they didn't think they could learn. That I help them when they get stuck. That they love that I'm silly with them. They wrote that they think I'm nice and like coming to school each day. These are helpful because they are good reminders to keep doing the best for these kiddos who do really look up to me and depend on me to give them the best education that they deserve.
Shannon, We See YOU! We honor your heart and the countless ways you uplift each and every student who comes into your classroom.
Your ability and willingness to sacrifice your heart and time for your students, so they can truly be seen, is a lesson for us all.
Our hope is that by shining a light on Mrs. Johnson, you will be inspired to celebrate the teachers who impacted your life and/or that of your children.
We hope that you think about those teachers who support you in the education and growth of your children.
Every teacher DESERVES TO BE SEEN, Recognized & Celebrated with a Wish!
And if we can be so bold, we hope you are inspired by this random act of kindness from classroom mom, Andrea, to go out and thank your teachers, appreciate them and celebrate them with an I See You® Candle! Why not do it with a wish 😊?!
Stay tuned for our next blog that shares the details behind how this special moment was created by classroom mom, Andrea Vermillion.