Teachers As Role Models - A Thank You During Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is upon us! Being both a mom and an ed tech exec, I get to see firsthand the amazing impact that teachers have on students. Whether I am volunteering in one of my daughter’s classrooms or assisting one of our teacher partners with a Couragion lesson, I always leave with a sense of awe and appreciation for teachers.

At Couragion, our research proves that role model access makes a difference in students’ confidence and intention to pursue challenging STEM pathways. And teachers are some of the most important role models in students’ lives. Time and again, our Couragion role models share how a teacher or professor inspired them to pursue their STEM career. I find these comments heartwarming and have shared some in a previous blog post. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I wanted to share some additional quotes…

  • “One of my role models was my seventh grade science teacher. I still talk with her to this day. She's actually come to visit me at the Zoo with her son before. She was always a big supporter of me and my love for animals and helped me understand that I was good enough to follow my passion.” – Jordan, Zookeeper

  • “I can think of a few teachers that have really helped guide me and there's one specifically in graduate school that was actually really tough and demanding. But it's almost like that tough love that you end up really appreciating. And I think because he demanded so much from us, when you get into the real world, so to speak, and you're out there working and you understand the benefits that come with a really rigorous coursework and a high level of standard. Because that's pretty much what's expected in the professional world.” – Taylor, Energy Economist

  • “In high school I had a really good Botany teacher… and that inspired in me this thing to go out and do field work in Botany and plants.” – Sarada, Director of Horticulture

  • “Going into my freshman year, I took a field course in geology at Michigan's field school and that course changed everything. I did really well in it. My professor ended up offering me a research job and he kept saying 'Just sign-up for geology classes, just sign-up for geology classes’… I decided that I was really going to commit to geology and that was what I wanted to do.” – Jessica, Hydrogeologist

  • “I did not want to take science classes. I hated science in high school. I figured I would in college too, but I had to take some. And I was complaining about it to my brother in a coffee shop and a professor leaned over and said, 'Oh, hey, I'm a professor at DU. I teach science. You should take my class'. Long story short, I ended up adding a geography major because that was the class he taught and I fell in love with it. And that's how I really got into geography and GIS.” – Kathleen, Geographic Information Systems Specialist

  • “When I got to college, I started an Art major with a Math minor, I had to take a step back after a year and say, 'What am I actually doing with myself?' That's when I sat down with a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department and we talked about some different career possibilities and the professor got me excited about it and I enrolled the next semester.” – Mandy, Mechanical Engineer

As evidenced by these quotes, teachers truly serve as role models for their students’ – from offering encouragement to building confidence to setting high standards to showing students careers they’ve never heard of. Teachers – your work matters and we THANK YOU for helping to inspire the next generation of STEM workers. If you have an awesome story of how a teacher was your role model, please share it with us on Twitter @couragion.