By Dr. Melody Schopp
Department of Education
Recognizing educators this month and every day
Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6-12, and this time of year always reminds me that I can’t thank you and your teachers enough for all the good work you do to give South Dakota’s children a chance at the future they deserve.
In my years with the Department of Education, I have had the opportunity to meet some of the state’s outstanding teachers. These individuals routinely demonstrate a commitment to their students and an energy and passion for their craft. But beyond that, they also possess an impressive commitment to their own learning and professional growth. They always strive to find new and better ways to challenge their students as well as themselves.
Teachers don’t teach in hopes of garnering fancy awards or living a glamorous life. We’re in it for the students: the light we see in a child’s eyes when everything “clicks” and we know that we’ve made a difference.
Teaching is a challenging craft. There’s no doubt about it. But it also can be one of the most rewarding and respected professions. I often tell a story about my mother-in-law, who in her last years could not remember many things but who could always remember that her daughter-in-law (me) was a teacher. When she would tell people what I do for a living, she would whisper in the most reverential tone … “This is my daughter-in-law, and she is a teacher.”
It is with that same sense of awe and appreciation that I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to educators across the state for your service to South Dakota’s most important resource – our children, our future.