Extra Credit

As part of the national Teacher Appreciation Week, the West Virginia Department of Education on Monday launched a year-long campaign asking citizens to thank their favorite teacher by posting messages and sharing photos on social media websites.

By using the hashtag #wvteachersrule, all posts will be cataloged and easy to view on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

In a press release, state Superintendent Michael Martirano had the following to say:

As Teacher Appreciation Week is kicked off on May 4, I wanted to say thank you for what you do each and every day. These words are not said often enough to teachers.

Every one of us can think of a teacher who really made a difference. It’s this special teacher that made us want to become teachers ourselves. I come from a long line of teachers so it was a natural career choice. My family was driven to make a difference and serve our community. I always say that I am a teacher first and foremost who just happens to be the state superintendent of schools.

As educators you face both joys and challenges in the classroom. When you decided to become teachers, you chose a profession unlike any other. On a daily basis you wear many hats: educator, disciplinarian, advocate, psychologist, conflict manager, classroom manager, community organizer, recruiter, fund raiser, mentor and more. It is precisely the multifaceted roles that we take on that make teaching both challenging and rewarding.

As part of the One Voice, One Focus: All Students Achieving Vision Plan we shine a light on the importance of recruiting and retaining highly effective teachers in every West Virginia classroom. Research tells us that you are the single most important factor in how much a child learns at school. Your role in the classroom is ever more critical as we increase the graduation rate, eradicate the dropout crisis and ensure that every child is in school every day.

As teachers today, you must do more than teach basic skills. You must use quality teaching techniques to push students beyond mastery of basic skills to become tomorrow’s better educated worker, who can manage complexity, solve problems and think critically. Your charge is not just to ensure that your students can live in the world as it is, but to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge that will enable them to succeed in the world that awaits them.

Thank you for your daily efforts to meet this challenge. We, as a state, must make sure that we celebrate outstanding educators like you — not just during Teacher Appreciation Week — but every day for the important work you do with our children.

We are launching a year-long social media campaign to thank teachers titled WV Teachers Rule. As part of the social media campaign, we are asking that every citizen send out a message or share a picture using #wvteachersrule to thank their favorite teachers. I am looking forward to reviewing all of the tweets, posts and pictures.