2007-12-07 / Community

DOE,UFT Announce 'Thank A Teacher'Program

Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein and United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten have announced the City's first-ever, "Thank a Teacher" campaign, to give public school students and alumni a chance to thank their teachers for the impact they have had on their lives. The Department of Education (DOE) and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) are asking current students and graduates to write up to 200 words about a special teacher. Submissions should be sent to ThankATeacher@ schools.nyc.gov. If possible, a photograph, drawing, or painting of the teacher can be submitted, along with the short essay. Responses will be posted on the DOE's website at www.nyc.gov/students.

"Teachers can have enormous influence on the lives of their students, immediately and long after the children grow up," Chancellor Klein said. "I've said many times that I owe a great deal to Sidney Harris, my physics teacher at Bryant High School in Queens, who encouraged me not to set any limits when I thought about my future. There are so many powerful stories like mine.

We want to recognize and honor New York City's outstanding teachers for their important role in our schools and in our City."

"Most people remember at least one teacher who touched their lives at a crucial turning point, sparked their interest in learning and inspired them to strive for excellence," Randi Weingarten said. "For me, there are so many that I don't want to single out one- Mr. Swift, Mrs. Seltzer, Mr. Dillon, Ms. Wilker, to name a few. Not surprisingly, parents concur, as 90 percent of those who responded to a survey this year said they are satisfied or very satisfied with their children's teachers. It's only fitting that we take a moment to say thanks for caring and making a difference."

The deadline for New York City public school students and graduates to submit essays and pictures is December 21, 2007.

On January 10, 2008, some of the teachers who are recognized in the "Thank a Teacher" campaign will be honored at a celebration at Tweed Courthouse. The DOE will randomly select 200 of the teachers to attend a party with a guest. The event, funded by the Broad Foundation, will recognize the contribution teachers made to New York City winning the 2007 Broad Prize for Urban Education and to helping New York City schools and students succeed.

The national award honors the school district that has made the most improvement in student performance, while closing achievement gaps among ethnic and income groups. Starbucks Coffee is also supporting this event by donating Starbucks Cards to be dispersed to teachers.

For more information on the "Thank a Teacher" campaign, please visit www.schools.nyc.gov/students.

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