The former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” On National Teacher Day, individuals, organizations and communities celebrate their teachers as a way to say “thank you” for the role they play in shaping the future of their students.

Teaching is a challenging and rewarding career. Experts estimate the United States will need about 2 million new teachers over the next decade and beyond. You could be one of them!

If you think you’re not smart enough to be a teacher, think again! Teachers learn to be teachers from… you probably guessed it… other teachers.

Anyone can become a teacher. Just like any career, you have to plan and prepare to obtain the necessary background education for the type of teacher you might want to be someday.

But how do teachers get to be so smart? They obviously have to know a lot of things to be able to teach, right? Are their brains bigger than average? Are they superhuman?

Not quite… teachers are regular people just like you. They have invested a lot of time in preparing for a career in teaching. They’ve gone to school for many years, learned many things, practiced teaching and now pass on what they know to their students.

But that’s not all they do. They keep learning throughout their whole lives. They learn about and practice the newest strategies to help students learn.

For example, when computers became popular and eventually earned a place in the classroom, teachers had to learn new things in order to help students continue to learn in the best ways possible.

They also do a lot of homework! That’s right. They review and constantly refresh their memories about the materials they use to teach you.

Plus, those assignments you turn in don’t grade themselves. Teachers work hard — both in the classroom and at home — to make sure your educational experience is the best it can be!

So what should you do if you think you might want to be a teacher someday? Ask questions! The best resources you could ask for are all around you.

Find a few teachers you admire and ask them what made them want to become teachers. What types of schooling did they need to get where they are today? What advice do they have for you?

Your teachers will be glad to give you whatever guidance you need to follow in their footsteps. There are all sorts of teachers: elementary, middle and high school teachers, college professors and even adult education teachers.

You’re never too old to learn and have a teacher. What kind of teacher might you want to be?

Quotes about teachers:

  • “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” — Henry Brooks Adams
  • “The dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.” — Dan Rather
  • “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” — Mark Van Doren
  • “Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” — Japanese proverb
  • “America believes in education: The average professor earns more money in a year than a professional athlete earns in a whole week.” — Evan Esar


8 Join the Discussion

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  1. I like the extension you have added to Teacher Appreciation Week. Indeed, a child’s first teachers are his parents.

    A heartfelt “Thank You” from a child’s lips is a warm feeling for any teacher in a child’s life!

  2. I think that it is very nice how many kids wrote thank-you notes to their teachers. I know that if I was a teacher, I would feel great if all these kids gave me thank-you notes. I agree that techers teach, but they also learn because Mrs. C. does lots of learning because we are doing reports in our class and she is learning lots of new facts.

    I think that tomorrow’s wonder is going to be “how a hurricane forms” because last year, I did a weather report on hurrcanes, and I learned that knowing the air pressure can can sometims predict hurricanes.

    • You’ve got a GREAT teacher in Mrs. C., Meredith/MC! People who “WONDER” about the things around them naturally learn something new every day! :-)

  3. Wow I have to comment back to Meredith/MC – you are absolutely correct I learn everyday from my students and especially since we have been working so hard on our wonder pages. I hope my learning with technology helps my students to see that teachers are always learning more too.

    • Thank you for commenting, Maria, and for showing that the opportunity to learn is all around us!

    • We’re pretty sure teachers have to write a LOT of essays before they become teachers, Erica/M.C!

      Teachers go to college, do practice teaching, and have to take a lot of tests before they get to have their very own classes! They are smart, but are always learning! Mrs. C has said she learns so much from her students every day! So…you are teaching Mrs. C as much as she is teaching you! Pretty cool, huh? :-)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • How do teachers get to be so smart?
  • Do teachers do homework too?
  • How can you show your teachers how much you appreciate them?

Wonder Gallery

portrait of theacher and students_shutterstock_33647551Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Who has helped you to become the person who you are? Teachers are all around you — in school, at church, in the community and even at home. Take some time to think about those who have taught you important lessons, both in school and in life.

To show your appreciation, write a thank-you card for a special teacher in your life. Handwritten cards are great, but you can also find some neat cards online to print out and give to your teachers.

You can also visit the Teacher Thank-You Project online to see thousands of teacher thank-you cards written by others, view images, watch a video of a mural that was created with the cards and write your own thank-you card to send to your favorite teachers.

Who knows? Your parents might remember a special teacher that they want to thank too!


Still Wondering

The responsibility for a child’s education does not rest solely with any teacher or school. Children learn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visit Thinkfinity to explore Parents & Kids activities that extend learning beyond the classroom!


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