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2019 Utah Teacher of the Year Blog

Public school educators, you are the gift that keeps giving.

  • You give your students the gift of your presence, day in and day out.
  • You visualize their potential and continue to nudge them onward and upward.
  • You further expose their assets and help them to grow bigger.
  • You observe them in the midst of drama, and even with your perspective, you honor that their experiences matter to them in this moment.
  • You detect that when they lash out it is often because they are hurting inside. Instead of lashing back, you tell them that it will be okay, give them space, and then be there for them when they are ready.
  • You recognize that things are not always fair for your students, so you work to advocate for equitable opportunities and environments.
  • You offer a stable environment when they may be experiencing instability from unexpected life events such as deportation, medical emergencies, or loss of income.
  • You notice when they may be lacking basic necessities, such as food or clothing, and are able to find the resources to help.
  • You are aware of their emotions, and that sometimes means hurting when they are hurting. It also means celebrating with them when they are celebrating and experiencing all emotions in between.
  • You share your life with dozens or hundreds of students each year, cheering them on, seeing the light bulbs, and witnessing their growth, again and again and again.

What a gift it is to be an educator!

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