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video greeting from Superintendent Woods
by Governor Nathan Deal
As my thoughts turned toward Teacher
Appreciation Month 2016 -- which we'll celebrate throughout the month of May
here in Georgia -- specific names and faces kept coming to mind.
I thought of Mrs. Phillips, my third grade
teacher, who wrote a letter to encourage me when I moved away, and Mrs.
Michaels, my fifth grade teacher, who drove me home from school every day. I
remembered my art teacher, Mr. Hudson, and Mrs. Linda Roberts – the math
teacher who worked across from me when I first became a teacher, and provided a
wonderful example in my early years as an educator.
I thought of the teachers who’ve shaped my
life, and then I thought of the many teachers I’ve met here in Georgia – who
are deeply committed to doing their jobs well. Their work is not easy. The
circumstances are not perfect. But they are focused, first and foremost, on
I also want to thank our legislators –
particularly Senator Lindsey Tippins – for passing Senate
Bill 364. I believe their actions speak loud and clear, and show that they
appreciate all that our teachers do, because they recognize the burden of too
many state-mandated tests and the over-emphasis of these tests on teachers’
evaluations. They took action to allow our teachers to be creative and teach
again rather than focus on just a test. Senate Bill 364 would remove many of
the barriers that have caused more of our teachers to leave the profession and
fewer young people to choose teaching as a profession. The legislature
overwhelmingly demonstrated to teachers that they do recognize the difficult
job you have and the time and energy spent on testing and evaluations. While I
know this one piece of legislation will not take away all the challenges you
face, I believe it is a big step in the right direction.
To all teachers: I want you to know how much
you are appreciated, and how essential your contribution is. Students cannot
receive an excellent education without you – you are truly educating Georgia’s
future, each and every day. I want you to know that I’ve heard your concerns
about the profession and will continue to work, in every way I am able, to
create an environment that allows you to teach and your students to learn.
To my fellow Georgians: please join me in
celebrating our teachers this month. Here are several resources that will help
you do just that:
to share on social media here,
you note template to print and send to a teacher
I also encourage you to share stories of great
teachers using the hashtag #thankaGAteacher.
Again, I want to express my sincere gratitude to
each and every one of Georgia’s teachers. Please don’t ever doubt that your
work makes a difference. You are changing the lives of Georgia’s students,
every single day.
Woods, a 22-year public school educator and former small business owner, is
Georgia’s School Superintendent.