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4 reasons we're saying ‘thank you’ to teachers

From kindergarten to graduate studies, everyone has at least one teacher who has left a lasting impression. Teacher Appreciation Week is a time to reflect and say “thank you” to those special educators who helped us along the way.

Hear from NOAA aquaculture specialists, meteorologists, program managers, and directors who all have one thing in common: they’re grateful for teachers this week and every week!

1. Teachers inspire at every age and every stage

Whether it was an art teacher in third grade, a biology teacher in high school, or a mentor during graduate school, our most memorable teachers continue to impact us as we advance through our careers and lives. These NOAA employees want to thank teachers from all stages of schooling.

A graphic with an apple and the NOAA logo. Text: "Thanks to all the amazing teachers out there who support, educate, and inspire. The gifts they give enrich the students, their families, their communities and make the world a better place for all of us." Louisa Koch, Director of Education, NOAA.
Graphic by NOAA Office of Education.

Director of NOAA Education, Louisa Koch, shares that teachers make the world an all around better place!

For Teacher Appreciation Week 2021, NOAA Office of Education employees recognize teachers who have made an impact on their careers. No matter where you are in your career, you always remember the teachers who made an impact on you! Submitted by Natasha White, Ph.D., NOAA Office of Education.

Natasha White, Ph.D., with NOAA’s Office of Education, thanks all the teachers she’s come across from elementary school to high school and through graduate study.

A graphic with an apple and the NOAA logo. Text: "Thank you to those who have inspired students to ask questions about topics that garner interest and not just the status quo. It is great to see teachers focus on the needs of students that make students and teachers grow alike!" Adam Roser, Meteorologist, National Weather Service, San Diego.
Graphic by NOAA Office of Education.

Meteorologist Adam Roser points out that teachers themselves never stop learning.


2. Teachers see potential in us when we don’t see it in ourselves

Sometimes it’s hard to see our own potential. That’s one of the great things about teachers — they help us see the best parts of ourselves!

A graphic with an apple and the NOAA logo. Text: "Dr. Stanley Gedzelman, Professor Emeritus, Earth and Planetary Sciences, City College of New York. Dr. Gedzelman was a mentor who pushed me further than I thought possible and boosted my confidence, enabling me to pursue both research and employment opportunities as an undergraduate. My career in meteorology would not have flourished without the support provided to me in my younger years by this brilliant man." Tim Schott, Meteorologist, National Weather Service, Analyze, Forecast and Support Office.
Graphic by NOAA Office of Education.

Meteorologist Tim Schott remembers a specific teacher who provided support and confidence in his younger years.

For Teacher Appreciation Week 2021, NOAA Office of Education employees recognize teachers who have made an impact on their careers. No matter where you are in your career, you always remember the teachers who made an impact on you! Submitted by Audrey Maran, Ph.D., NOAA Office of Education.

Audrey Maran, Ph.D., with NOAA’s Office of Education, didn’t think she would ever become a scientist. Now, she’s thanking her undergraduate professor who showed her that anyone is capable.

A graphic with an apple and the NOAA logo. Text: "Shout out to my 10th grade science teacher, Mr Strong. I was his teaching assistant in 11th grade and he knew I wanted to major in meteorology. While I wanted to enroll in an anatomy class my senior year of high school (because all of my friends were), he convinced me to take AP Physics instead because I would need it for my degree. It definitely helped when it came time to take physics again in college!" Stefanie Sullivan, Meteorologist, National Weather Service, San Diego.
Graphic by NOAA Office of Education.

Meteorologist Stefanie Sullivan is grateful to her 10th grade teacher who helped guide her path to success.

For Teacher Appreciation Week 2021, NOAA Office of Education employees recognize teachers who have made an impact on their careers. No matter where you are in your career, you always remember the teachers who made an impact on you! Submitted by Lisa Kim, NOAA Office of Education.

As an Asian American woman, Lisa Kim, with NOAA’s Office of Education, didn’t see people who looked like her in the field of ecology. She’s thanking Dr. Tim Hoellein, her undergraduate professor (who later became her graduate advisor), for introducing her to ecological research and supporting her educational and career goals.


3. Teachers introduce us to fascinating science and studies

You never know which details will capture a student’s imagination and curiosity, sparking a lifelong interest in the natural world. These experts can still recall specific lessons from middle and high school, and they’re grateful to the teachers who brought those memorable experiences to life.

A graphic with an apple and the NOAA logo. Text: In the 6th grade, a teacher did a lesson on the various levels of the atmosphere. I was instantly captivated and wanted to know more, wanted to learn more about our so incredibly fascinating atmosphere and why it does what it does. Thank you for that spark, 6th grade teacher!" Linda Gilbert, Meteorologist, National Weather Service, Marquette.
Graphic by NOAA Office of Education.

Teachers are constantly trying to find new topics and ways to present information to spark interest in their students. Though they don’t always get to see that effort pay off, Meteorologist Linda Gilbert says that it can inspire a career years later.

A graphic with an apple and the NOAA logo. Text: "Mr. Dowie presented our high school physics class with interesting real-world science questions, and helped inspire a love for experiential learning that became a guiding focus for my career. I am thankful to him and all the excellent teachers I have been fortunate to learn from throughout the years." John McLaughlin, Education Program Manager, NOAA Office of Education.
Graphic by NOAA Office of Education.

John McLaughlin found that a powerful teacher can inspire a love of learning in addition to fascination with science.

A graphic with an apple and the NOAA logo. Text: "Making biological science fun was something Barry and Paula Thorpe did at Woodland Park High School in Colorado. I'm so grateful they dedicated their careers to educating us. I'll never forget extracting my DNA, blood typing, classifying insects, and the other fun projects we did!" Tanja Fransen, National Weather Service, Meteorologist, National Weather Service, Glasgow.
Graphic by NOAA Office of Education.

Dedicated teachers create lessons that students remember years later. Meteorologist Tanja Fransen thanks the teachers who made science so fun and memorable for her in high school.


4. Teachers encourage curiosity, wonder, and creativity

These experts agree that a teacher’s influence can extend far beyond their subject matter, setting us up for transformational experiences. In short, educators can truly change our lives.

A graphic with an apple and the NOAA logo. Text: "I had a lot of wonderful teachers, but my absolute favorites were the ones who made me feel comfortable asking questions. A willingness to ask questions helped me tremendously in college and graduate school, and I hope to never stop asking questions and looking for answers." Maggie Beetstra, Knauss Marine Policy Fellow, NOAA Office of Education.
Graphic by NOAA Office of Education.

Thanks to the encouraging teachers in her life, Knauss Marine Policy Fellow Maggie Beetstra hopes to never stop asking questions and looking for answers.

For Teacher Appreciation Week 2021, NOAA Office of Education employees recognize teachers who have made an impact on their careers. No matter where you are in your career, you always remember the teachers who made an impact on you! Submitted by Gabrielle Corradino, Ph.D., NOAA Office of Education.

Gabrielle Corradino, Ph.D., with NOAA’s Office of Education, has two specific teacher’s she’d like to thank for “inspiring the next generation of scientists every time they’re in the classroom.”

A graphic with an apple and the NOAA logo. Text: "Johanna Kallio, my Finnish Biology teacher on Cape Cod, traversed oceans and continents to inspire art-driven students like myself. She made STEM accessible, and taught us the value of understanding other communities and their connections to the environment. Without Johanna, I wouldn’t have become the transdisciplinary scientist I am today." Brianna Shaughnessy, Aquaculture and Education Coordinator, NOAA Office of Education.
Graphic by NOAA Office of Education.

Inspiring teachers — like Brianna Shaughnessy’s biology teacher — help us understand and value the world around us.

A graphic with an apple and the NOAA logo. Text: "Although I’m not an actress, my high school drama teacher was incredibly influential. Because of his theatre classes and plays, I broke out of my shell and became a better critical thinker and public speaker. While I loved a lot of the roles I played, the most important lessons my theatre teacher instilled in me were the confidence and creativity that apply to the rest of my life." Maggie Allen, Education and Grants Specialist, NOAA Office of Education.
Graphic by NOAA Office of Education.

Maggie Allen says that her confidence and creativity were able to flourish due to a teacher’s motivation and influence.


Feeling inspired to thank one of your favorite teachers? Tell us on social media! 

Use #ThankATeacher and #TeacherAppreciationWeek and tag us @NOAAEducation — we’d love to hear who inspired you along the way!

Find opportunities that are available to educators through NOAA.

May 3, 2021