I’m finished with author visits for the 2012-2013 school year. Over the course of the last ten months I’ve had the honor of meeting kids and educators in Oregon, New York, Connecticut, Nebraska, Missouri, China, Kansas, Missouri (redux), North Carolina, and Ohio. I’ve been doing author visits for 28 years, and have presented over 3,000 times in nearly 900 schools. Although each school and visit is unique, there is a common thread that I see again and again: educators who love kids, and believe in them.
We are reminded of this dedication in times of crisis — Newtown, Oklahoma City – when educators put themselves at great risk for their students. And this extraordinary heroism is of course worthy of our admiration and respect. But what I think we tend to forget is that it happens on a much less dramatic but still very important level in thousands upon thousands of classrooms, day after day after day. Working in schools is a complicated and difficult job, and often thankless and the object of criticism. The fact remains, however, that it is the most important and meaningful job on the planet, period. In educators’ hands rests the future. I, for one, am grateful, and in awe of their commitment. If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can believe in a promising future, thank a teacher for helping make it so.