Since 2003, the National Educators Association has celebrated substitute teachers on their own special day. This year I was honored to be asked to join local NEA staff during American Educators Week at Francis Scott Key Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia, for Substitute Educators Day.
I hadn’t mentioned I spent four years while attending college as a substitute teacher beforehand. I was initially interested in being a part of American Educators Week, because education is so important. Then I was so moved when I saw so much excitement and felt the energy of the students. I graduated in 2003, the year Substitute Educators Day started, and I had never been thanked before for serving in education. With every clap and smile from the students at Francis Scott Key Elementary School, it was like being thanked a million times. I was reminded of why I loved to teach so much.
This may sound corny (and that’s okay, because I own it), but I believe the children are our future!
“The National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional employee organization,is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA’s 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.”
Coincidentally, Substitute Educators Day happened to fall on Wimpy Kid Day at the school and NEA brought along a special surprise. Jeff Kinney, the author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid books joined to speak to the students about his career and publishing Wimpy Kid. They were ecstatic. So was I. My daughter who is eight years old just started reading a Wimpy Kid books a few weeks ago and already she talks about Jeff Kinney like she knows him. The excitement the kids showed about seeing Jeff was everything a teacher could wish for…love for an author.
In addition to sharing his obstacles and successes, Jeff gave a step-by-step demonstration of illustrating Wimpy Kid character, Greg, on his computer. He then encouraged the kids to try illustrating on their own. They were excited to show off their work.
Immediately following the Wimpy Kid Assembly, I shadowed Virginia Education Association President, Meg Gruber, as we visited the 2nd grade classroom of Mrs. Patricia Jarvis. It was a pleasure to see the kids eager to learn and I enjoyed visiting with them. American Educators Week was a success and a wonderful reminder of just how important educators are.
I’m thinking of heading back to the classroom myself!
For more information about public education in the U.S. and American Educators Week, connect with:
Buy a copy of Jeff Kinney’s newest book Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul