Whether parents, family or friends, or a coach, there are special people whose influence stays with us long after we leave the classroom and truly helps us achieve our full potential. On this National Teacher Appreciation Day, let’s ensure we take a moment to recognize and celebrate the positive impact teachers make.
Teachers are an invaluable part of our society — they fuel our imagination, teach us to be curious and creative, and help build and reinforce our confidence to solve both the big and small problems we face along the way. With over 3.25M teachers in American public schools¹, they are a driving force behind the ability of students today to turn an “I can’t” into an “I can.” As we have seen in recent months, passionate kids have the power to challenge and change the world around them.
A great teacher can have an impact for a lifetime, and I am grateful to witness the thousands of exceptional teachers that go above and beyond the standard curriculum through the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow program.
Take Michael Polley, a teacher at Ashland Middle School in Kentucky. He recently challenged his students to apply concepts they learned in his classes to solve a real problem in their community arising from the nation’s growing opioid epidemic. His commitment to his students resulted in the development of a proprietary device that allows first responders to safely collect hazardous needles left behind by opioid and other drug users. He also guided his students as they used coding skills to develop an online database that local community members can access to learn more about the opioid epidemic and report hazardous needles found in public areas.
This is just one example of how investing in education and in students can inspire positive change and true innovation.
The experience of tackling big issues will transcend beyond the moment, allowing students to take what the classroom taught them to discover who they are and how they can benefit their community, country and world. It’s teachers like Mr. Polley, with his authentic desire to affect change through his actions, which are shaping the future, and at Samsung we are proud to be a catalyst for change.
So today, all across America, and on behalf of the entire Samsung team, I would like to thank all the amazing teachers across our nation who make a difference every day. Thank you for your unwavering dedication, helping ensure our classrooms and communities are ready for today, tomorrow and the future.
¹National Center for Education Statistics, 2017
*This article first appeared in Kentucky’s “The Daily Independent”