Teachers, You're My Heroes

If you know a teacher-- a first grade teacher, a college professor, a volunteer, a Teaching Fellow, say, "Thank you." As our country grieves the loss in Newtown, Connecticut we are reminded of how brave, caring, strong and incredible our teachers are. Teachers everywhere, thank you.

Over the last few days, I've heard stories of the extraordinary bravery and strength of the teachers and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary School. On Friday afternoon after crying from the news just a few hours earlier, I found myself smiling, beaming even, watching a group of Citizen Schools students present their semester's hard work to a captivated audience in the offices of Facebook in New York City. At first I thought, is this wrong? Should we be celebrating right now?

Then I looked at the teachers in the audience. There were volunteer Citizen Teachers from Facebook, who spent one afternoon a week with the kids. There were full-time teachers from the school who came to show their support. There were Teaching Fellows who guided the kids and volunteers through their afternoon apprenticeship classes. Every one of them was beaming like I was-- full of pride, joy and accomplishment. And then I thought, of course we should be celebrating. Children should always be celebrated. So should teachers.

The last few days were full of great joy and great sadness at Citizen Schools. Our hearts go out to those we've lost in Newtown, Connecticut. During this time of immense grief and confusion, we are also proud and inspired by our nation's teachers who bring our students and families incredible joy and hope all year around.

As President Obama said in his address to Newtown last night, "As a community, you've inspired us, Newtown. In the face of indescribable violence, in the face of unconscionable evil, you've looked out for each other, and you've cared for one another, and you've loved one another."

Thank you, teachers. Thank you for your bravery, your leadership, your unwavering love for your students. Thank you for protecting our kids, for believing in them, for supporting them. You are heroes every day.