I am not sure who to address this to, but I would like to send a heart-felt thank you for giving me the honor of speaking on behalf of teachers across our state. It is very humbling to think that I could be a voice for the many outstanding teachers we are fortunate to have here in North Carolina. On the other hand, I am proud to be a voice for NCCAT because I have seen firsthand, both as a participant and as a presenter, the long lasting benefits teachers receive from the kind of professional development NCCAT offers. It is truly a unique approach and one that works better than anything I have encountered in my 33 year career as a teacher. After just one week at NCCAT three years ago, the information and excitement I experienced continues to expand our fourth grade curriculum. Just this morning, a parent of a sixth grader said that the project her son did in fourth grade has ignited a passion about raptors in her child. This was because of the migratory bird seminar I took and the resulting collaboration with our teachers.
I believe that the only way we are going to improve education is to keep teachers passionate about teaching. This is a time for us to join hands and be grateful for the positive impact teachers can have on the lives of our young people. Believe me, I know how important it is to have quality, caring individuals as the role models for our students. I had a middle school student two years ago who disturbingly told me her name was “Hatchet Murderous” on the first day of school. She is now a successful and much happier high school student who sings in the chorus. A few weeks ago, she made it a point to visit her old school and personally give me a hug. Wow! I am constantly reminded of the huge responsibility I have in touching the lives of our most valuable resources—our children. Our future.
Many thanks for holding true to what is important, even in the face of cutbacks. I will be your voice whenever I can.