Teachers make all other professions possible. Even the ‘teachers’ who don’t wear the title or get paid for it make everything else possible. They are the only ones who refuse to leave anyone behind. They work tirelessly (though they get really tired!) to make sure you have the knowledge and skills to be whatever you want to be.

The seniors at my son’s high school graduate next week. They’re in the midst of final exam week, all culminating it what will no doubt be a wonderful graduation Mass and commencement ceremony. Those kids have had 13 years of schooling, and have the building blocks to make their dreams come true. They’ve met teachers they ‘hated,’ they had teachers they love and will never forget. They deliver life lessons as well as classroom lessons.

I can’t begin to even consider a single ‘favorite’ teacher, but there are some that stick in my mind to this day – and some are even my Facebook friends. When I applied to college, my entrance essay was about one of these teachers. My parents, while recently doing some ‘spring cleaning,’ came across a printed copy we’d kept separate from the copy that got sent with my application materials. This teacher has left a lasting impression, which reaches far past the graduation date.

The thing about a lot of the teachers I have encounter is, they do what they do because they love it. I don’t know a teacher who has ever answered the question “why did you want to become a teacher?” with “for the money associated with the profession.” That’s not to debate that teacher aren’t paid what they’re worth, but it speaks to teaching as a calling and a vocation rather than just a job or a means to money.

One of my son’s most recent theology teachers is truly living his dream: he studied theology at a Catholic university with the intent of coming home to teach theology at his Alma mater. In fact, he’s only graduated college within the last couple years and can blend in almost perfectly with the students at the school. This teacher quickly became my son’s favorite this year, and he is the first teacher my son thought of when his college counselor told everyone to start talking to the teachers they’d like to have write recommendations for them.

I have a feeling that when my son goes back for his first alumni visit after graduating in spring 2025, this teacher’s classroom will be one of the first he visits.

Today was a single day, Teacher Appreciation Day, in a week devoted to our teachers. Share your favorite teacher stories – or your own stories of being a teacher – over on Facebook!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!