EPIC Superintendent Bart Banfield explores topics related to education, learning, leadership and more.

Thank You, Teachers

This has been a special week for me. As an educator and the son of a teacher, I always look forward to Teacher Appreciation Week. It’s a time for everyone to pause and recognize the noble and vital work our nation’s educators do, which is more important than ever during this globally challenging time.

The advent of the pandemic we are all experiencing together has brought to light some staggering examples of the importance teachers play in our communities. The connections our educators make with families and their students are meaningful ones. I have countless examples of EPIC teachers making lifelong relationships with the families they serve, becoming mentors, friends, and confidants. They help celebrate life’s successes, comfort during the rough spots and provide support along the way.

One of my favorite quotes is from historian and educator Henry Adams. He said, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Truer words were never spoken. To spark the fire of learning in a young person is the greatest gift one can bestow on humanity, one that will ripple through time and continue for generations to come.

It’s that everlasting impact that makes teaching among the highest callings that exist. For me, it was my father who ignited my love of learning and inspired me to become an educator myself. Hopefully, I have been able to pay that forward in a way that will inspire the students I’ve had the privilege of guiding to continue doing the same. Such a legacy is something we should all strive to achieve.

So, to the nearly 1,100 EPIC teachers and to educators everywhere, I extend my most heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the work you do every single day. These are new times in which we are living, but at least one thing hasn’t changed – the determination to connect with young people in the spirit of learning, no matter the circumstances, is alive and well in the American teacher. That thought brings me peace.

Dare Greatly,