As I was reflecting about Teacher Appreciation Week, the text: Teaching from the Heart: Reflections, Encouragement, and Inspiration by Sharon Draper came to mind. In the essay “Candles,” Draper celebrates a teacher’s selflessness and chooses the candle as a felicitous symbol to describe how we teach so that others can reach their goals.
As Draper reveals, the essence of education is knowledge and learning. Our students are the candles in the darkness, and our job is to show them how to shine, to keep their flames bright, intense, and flickering. They are the brilliant flames of possibility, and teachers are the candle lighters. So, light those candles and watch them shine.
I wish to thank teachers everywhere for the sacrifices they make so that others can excel. Teachers instruct, encourage, praise, influence, share, guide, and inspire. For these actions, and for the multitude of others, teachers deserve our appreciation.
As I wish all teachers a Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, I wish to leave them with these wise words from Irish poet William Butler Yeats: "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." When teachers pose a problem for a group of minds to wrestle with, the fire they light has the power to change the world!