We knew going into Teacher Appreciation Week that teachers had the power to changes lives. What we learned coming out of this week was how they do it. Spoiler alert: kids don’t remember teachers for the subjects they teach, they remember them for the support they showed, the courage they inspired and the time they took to listen when no one else would.
In South Central Los Angeles, we had the pleasure of meeting Tashenea, a high school senior getting ready to head to college to study computer science. For a predominantly male industry, we wanted to know more about what inspired her to become a programmer. She told us that it was her AP computer science teacher, Mr. Smith, that helped set her on her path. Tashenea saw someone she could relate to in Mr. Smith. She loved how he came from the same community and spent his life giving back to the community. Tashenea hopes to get her PhD in computer science and bring her skills back to South Central Los Angeles where she will one day inspire the next generation.
Read Tashenea’s letter to Mr. Smith describing how he had the power to change her life:
(click to enlarge)
To all the teachers like Mr. Smith, with #TCHRPWR to inspire and engage their students in ways that go well beyond their roles as educators, we are proud to honor you this week with the recognition you deserve year-round.
Continue to Part 3!