Teacher Appreciation WeekYesterday marked National Teacher Day, an important part of Teacher Appreciation Week.

As an organization that builds education programs, we have had the honor of getting to know some of Chicago’s best teachers. We witness, firsthand, the inspiration that dedicated educators provide to students throughout our city, on a daily basis.

Our staff took a moment to reflect on the teachers that helped shape our paths during our years in school. What we discovered, is that it is often the things that seem to go unnoticed that have the greatest impact. Here are a few of our stories.

“Mrs. Huffman, my 5th grade teacher, taught me to dream big and care for others. She not only inspired me to go out of my comfort zone and try new things but taught me the importance of being an active and compassionate citizen.”
Emily Collins
Senior Coordinator, Education

“My fondest teacher memory was of my high school French teacher, Madame Crachiola.  Her classroom was off the main hallway and I would have to pass it before going home for the day.  Every day I would stop in and say goodbye to her and we would just have a little chat. It was just enough time for me to let off some steam and process my day and I always left her classroom a little lighter and ready to take on the rest of my post-school day. Taking the time to recharge and re-energize with thoughtful conversation has been a lesson that I carry with me through today.”
Amy DeLorenzo
Coordinator, Human Services

“I will always remember my 8th grade teacher Mr. Stallings. He challenged me to work beyond my abilities and skill level. For a long time this was very frustrating, but he was persistent and always believed in his students. The self-confidence that I gained from his class still affects me to this day.”
Richard Jablonski
Coordinator, Corporate Volunteer Programs

“After several pop quizzes in French class included the word ‘restaurant’ our French teacher, Madame Ver, asked the class why we kept getting the spelling wrong in French. Many excuses later, she taught us the spelling in French was the same as in English! Moral of the story: don’t complicate simple things-life is complicated enough by itself.”
Elise Cochran
Office Manager

Thank you to all of the teachers who gave their time and talent to help ensure that each of us would grow up to be well-rounded citizens. Your service to the community is one of the guideposts that has led us to our present work and continues to give us hope for the future.