Teacher Appreciation Week
Teacher appreciation week is celebrated in the US annually on the first week of May, running May 3-7 in 2021. Delong America joins in celebrating and honoring the power and positive impact of teachers on our lives and on our society. This impact can last beyond time in the classroom, even a lifetime. Many of us are fortunate enough to have fond memories of teachers who inspired us or pushed us to learn and achieve more. Some of us can also point to STEM teachers who fostered our desire to pursue STEM careers.
Those who are parents can see the encouragement, patience, and growth teachers give to their children. To those reading who are teachers in classrooms helping train the next generation, we thank you!
And the opportunity to teach can come in more ways than teachers in a classroom. Anyone can help through outreach and volunteer activities. Often, scientific demonstrations inspire curious minds to explore the natural world. Being able to magnify physical structures too small to see with unaided eyes helps us understand how the world works, and creates a sense of wonder at the power that tools like microscopes offer.
Science teachers in the laboratory get to offer hands-on applied learning, whether watching plants grow in a kindergarten or early childhood classroom, or building simple circuits in an elementary school science classroom, or building and programming a simple robot in a high school lab, or mentoring postdoctoral researchers building advanced automated machines. Teacher demonstrations are another effective, attention-grabbing way to inspire students.
And then there are the countless hours of preparation, from bringing together the explanations that go with the demonstrations, to grading quizzes, exams, papers, and lab reports. Combined with the patience to show up early before class, to stay late when students have questions, and to volunteer for leading science clubs and other extracurricular activities, teachers of students at all ages are inspiring and training the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators.
Thank you to teachers everywhere, from early childhood to graduate school!
About the author:
Robert I. MacCuspie, Ph.D., has over twenty years of experience working at the interface of business and science, at national laboratories, academia and corporations, and is the founder of MacCuspie Innovations which helps companies responsibly commercialize new technologies.