Teachers making a difference in kids’ lives

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Most of us can remember a teacher who made a difference in our lives. For me, that teacher was also my mother. As an English teacher, she recognized the importance of good grammar and punctuation for clear communication. The lessons she taught me have stuck with me throughout my life.

And, teachers do so much more than impart lessons. They are entrusted with our most precious gifts—our children. Teachers inspire. They identify and grow their students’ talents. They patch up skinned knees, comfort hurt feelings and keep our children safe. Teachers often work long before and after the school bell rings grading papers, coaching sports teams, tutoring struggling students, working with parents, leading extracurricular projects and much more.

Teachers are a central part of our communities, and they affect the lives of millions of Americans every day. The Idaho Department of Education reportedthat there are more than 18,000 certified to teach in Idaho. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that there are more than 7 million teachers and more than 78 million studentsfrom nursery school to college enrolled in school throughout the country.

The Senate unanimously passed a resolutionthanking teachers by honoring their roles and contributions in building and enhancing the civic, cultural and economic well-being of the U.S. and encouraging students, parents, school administrators and public officials to participate in teacher appreciation events during National Teacher Appreciation Week, celebrated in May. The resolution also included the following recognitions:

Education and knowledge form the foundation of the current and future strength of the United States; and

Teachers and other education staff have earned and deserve the respect of their students and communities for the selfless dedication of the teachers and staff to community service and the futures of the children of the United States.

Teachers leave a legacy that lasts long after their careers. They impart knowledge that we carry with us throughout our lives. Teachers help set the course for the future of Idaho students and our country. We are blessed that many talented individuals choose to teach and prepare Americans for their career paths. These lessons are not only beneficial for our occupations, but also are applicable throughout many areas of our lives. As the school year draws to a close in many areas, I am hopeful teachers have the opportunity to recharge over the summer months. Thank you, to the exemplary women and men who choose to be teachers in Idaho for the lasting lessons you provide and the central role you have in readying Americans for the challenges ahead.

Mike Crapo is a member of the U.S. Senate and represents Idaho’s second congressional district.

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