To Our Teachers: Thank You

Dear Educators,

For many, the past month has been one of the most trying times of our careers. It has been a time of significant change and adaptation for educators, and you have persevered through these challenges to support your students. Great teachers change lives—not by simply opening doors for students, but by teaching them how to open those doors for themselves. 

As we kick off Teacher Appreciation Week, I want to begin by saying thank you. Thank you for the countless hours you’ve dedicated to your students, from helping them leverage their Habits of Success, to holding mentoring sessions, to participating in a rigorous and productive Spring Virtual Regional Convening. Thank you for your creative virtual instruction, exciting at-home projects, and extra time spent with students, supporting them as both learners and as people as they’ve adapted to school closures. Thank you for working with families to make them true partners in their children’s education, ensuring they have a deeper view of what their child is learning, and that they understand how technology can catalyze meaningful learning and trusted relationships between teachers and students. Most importantly, thank you for the weeks, months, and years you’ve spent, prior to COVID-19, empowering your students with the life skills and habits that they needed to be prepared to navigate this time in their lives. Students need teachers who truly know them and who foster a sense of belonging that helps them overcome obstacles. I hope through all of our recent challenges, you are seeing how these commitments to your students are paying off. 

We are here to support you as you finish the school year strong. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to review our Teacher Field Guide, which includes ideas and considerations for curricular adjustments and ways to support students who may be most vulnerable during this time. We’ve also created our Parent and Caregiver Field Guide, which your school can customize to provide families with tips for keeping students virtually connected to their peers, supporting academic progress, and practicing Habits of Success at home. I also encourage you to check out our newest resource for parents. In addition, we’re looking forward to welcoming new teachers to Summit Learning during our Virtual Summer Training in July. Though this year’s virtual experience won’t be exactly like the Summer Training you attended in the past, we are working hard to ensure that it is as rigorous and collaborative as ever. I hope you will encourage any teachers attending from your school this year to approach the training with excitement and an open mind.  

As you think ahead to the day your students return to the classroom, be assured that we will help you navigate this uncharted path, and we are prepared to help you leverage all aspects of our program as you welcome your students back to school with open arms and listening ears. We are developing extensive resources to guide you and provide you with options for your community, including tailoring the social-emotional support in our curriculum, mentoring, and professional development to meet the challenges of our “new normal.” If you have ideas of supportive resources you and your community could benefit from that we could help develop, please let us know. 

Thank you for the work you have done, and are continuing to do, on behalf of your students. We appreciate you and are here with you every step of the way. 

Andrew Goldin 
Executive Director
Gradient Learning

About the author

Andrew Goldin
Andrew Goldin is the Executive Director of Gradient Learning. In this role, he leads support for schools implementing the Summit Learning program across the country. He started his career teaching middle school science in the Bronx, New York as a Teach for America corps member. After, he joined YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, Texas as the principal of two YES campuses and later a manager of school leaders. Andrew joined Summit Public Schools as Chief of Schools in 2015, and became Chief Program Officer for Summit Learning in 2018. He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MSEd from Bank Street College of Education, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.