Teachers Do More Than Teach, They Change Lives

Teacher Appreciation Week has the Summit Learning team reminiscing. We all have that one teacher — and for the lucky ones, more than one — who made an impact on our lives beyond the four walls of their classroom. Teachers do so much more than just teach us about english, math, science, and history; they teach us about life.

For me, it was Mrs. Chandra.

She was my junior high school teacher for both Algebra and Geometry. She was the first teacher to see me as more than a student. She saw me as an individual and celebrated everything that made me unique.

She empowered me to speak up for what I believed in and consoled me when I was feeling blue. Since my parents worked overnight shifts, she’d take me home if they couldn’t. Words cannot express how grateful I am to have had such a wonderful role model in my life at an incredibly young age.

Nearly 20 years later, I have more pictures as an adult with her than I did when I was her student. I think that speaks volumes in itself. And I’m not the only kid she nurtured into adulthood, either. Mrs. Chandra, if you’re reading this, I hope you know what an impact you made on my life and the lives of so many others.

I’m not the only one from the Summit Learning team getting nostalgic after sharing dozens of stories about educators like Mrs. Chandra with each other. So, we thought we’d share some of those stories with the Summit Learning community, too.

More Teacher Appreciation stories from our Summit Learning family

“Ms. Schutt was my 9th and 11th grade English teacher and also led a community service club at our school. She was a deeply encouraging educator and has been a role model for kindness and empathy for me during and since high school.”
– Donna Park, Marketing Manager

“My chemistry teacher in high school, Ms. Heller, created a classroom where respect was mandatory and every student participated in the teaching process. If a fellow classmate didn’t understand a particular problem, the entire class had to help the student solve and understand the problem. We learned not only the chemistry curriculum, but also how to become more effective communicators.”
– Jennifer Walsh, Director of Communications

“As a kid, my older brother taught me everything I knew. Today he’s a High School English teacher in Madison, CT. No matter how old we get he is always pushing me to be a better writer, and correcting my grammar. I can’t say thank you enough!”
– Erin Morrison, Director of Marketing

“It was my 7th and 8th grade History teacher and advisor that made a massive impact on me as a person because she was one of the toughest teachers at the school but knew how to pull out the best in each of us. I was grateful she took the time to guide me and push me towards Excellence in all ways. While she is no longer with us today, I was honored to speak on behalf of the thousands of students she impacted with her magnetic spirit and ‘just do it…with excellence’ mentality at a ceremony to celebrate her beautiful life that carries on in our hearts. We love you, Mrs. Koppman!”
– Jackie Choucair, Communications Associate

“My 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Neely, is one I still remember and am friends with on Facebook.  What I most remember about her is how she made me feel and believe that I could be whatever I wanted to be.  She was a great teacher and a great human being who showed love to each and every one of her students.”
– Adriene Marshall, Mentor

My brothers and I all developed our passion for reading and writing from Mrs. Searer in 4th grade at Andersen Elementary School. Mrs. Searer tapped into our innate curiosity as we explored new worlds through literature. Our textual adventures culminated with our own writing using figurative language to immerse our audience in our own stories and poems.
– Jared Fries, Mentor

“My 7th grade science teacher, Mr. Robinson was the kind of teacher you hope to have in every class. He was fun, loud, a little crazy, and so passionate about science and learning. He inspired me to want to succeed in school and showed us that learning and science could be fun and exciting. I looked forward to his class every day.”
– Emily MacNeil, Marketing Manager

Keep celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week by seeing the classroom through their eyes. Read Summit Learning Teacher Voice stories here.

About the author

Summit Learning
Summit Learning
Summit Learning is a research–based approach to education designed to drive student engagement, meaningful learning, and strong student–teacher relationships that prepare students for life after graduation. Created by teachers with experience in diverse classrooms, Summit Learning is grounded in decades of research about how children learn. With Summit Learning, students gain mastery of core subjects like math, history, English, and science, while also carefully developing the skills and habits of lifelong learners. Summit Learning is independently led and operated by the nonprofit, Gradient Learning.