Obama's Throwback Photo For Teacher Appreciation Day Is Painfully Adorable
Tuesday, May 3 is National Teacher Appreciation Day, and thousands of people have taken to Twitter to share their appreciation of some of their favorite teachers — including the president. That's right, President Obama tweeted a photo of his 5th grade class to share his appreciation for his teacher, Ms. Mabel Hefty. Obama tweeted the photo with the message, "To my 5th grade teacher Ms. Mabel Hefty and the educators who inspire our young people every single day: Thank you."
Last year for National Teacher Appreciation Day, Obama wrote in an email to his listserve about why he appreciated his 5th grade teacher so much. He wrote, "Ms. Hefty taught me that I had something to say -- not in spite of my differences, but because of them. She made every single student in that class feel special." He also shared how Ms. Hefty instilled in him the importance of empathy, something he wrote, "I carry with me every day as President." The annual day, and now week of Teachers' Appreciation will take place from May 1 through May 7 as a celebration of the teachers who shape our lives through education — an important job that deserves all the value and appreciation of the celebration.
Obama also awarded Jahana Hayes with the 2016 National Teacher of the Year award on Tuesday afternoon at the White House, where he invited some of the top educators from around the country in a celebration of their hard work. Jahana Hayes is an educator from Waterbury, Connecticut where she has been teaching at John F. Kennedy High School for the last 11 years.
On Tuesday, she spoke at the White House event where she shared:
Like every teacher, I started as a student. And like many students around the country, I know what it feels like to have a dream and to exist in an environment where nothing is expected to thrive, schools where nothing is said or done to nurture or support a dream. I know what it feels like to struggle to find sunlight and constantly be met with concrete barriers. I see myself in every one of those students, and I carry my own experiences as a reminder that as a teacher, I have to be better.
Hayes speech touched on the importance of educators and role models for students to look up to, and who will support them during their time in school. This seems to be the message Obama had hoped to share in his Tweet of appreciation of Ms. Mabel Hefty, as well, as an educator who inspires young people.
During his celebration, Obama said it himself, "For seven years I've stood in the White House with America's finest public servants, and private sector innovators, our best advocates, our best athletes, our best artists. And I have to tell you, there are few moments that make me prouder than this event when I stand alongside our nation's best educators."