An Open Letter to My Teacher Colleagues in Grosse Pointe Public Schools


thank_a_teacherYou may have heard this saying before: “if you see a turtle sitting atop a fence post, you know that it didn’t get there on its own.” Well, I recently heard this statement from a teacher I really look up to, and it made me realize that I’ve been feeling a lot like a turtle on a fence post lately and I wanted to let you know that I didn’t get there alone.

As you know, this year has been very out-of-the-ordinary and very special for me. Being selected to represent all of the amazing educators here in Grosse Pointe and across the state as the 2014 Michigan Teacher of the Year has been a humbling experience.

I’m proud to be a product of the Grosse Pointe Schools and a colleague of yours. I have seen your hard work in every building first hand and the amazing things you are able to do with kids regularly. It has been encouraging to experience education beyond the four walls of my classroom this year and share in your teaching successes. Believe me, in all the opportunities I have had around the state and nation to share about education this year, I have elevated the work of Grosse Pointe teachers and sung your praises.

But I do want to share with you, during this Teacher Appreciation Week, that I have also wrestled with the question of “why me?” all year, thinking that there are so many other amazing teachers who should be in this position before me. If there’s one thing I have learned, it is that I am not in this position instead of you, but I am in this position for you, and to represent and share all the amazing teaching that is going on in classrooms.

Being named Michigan Teacher of the Year is not a position attained by oneself, and I certainly didn’t accomplish any of this alone. I’ve been watching your example and it’s motivated me to follow. I wanted to let you know that learning with you and from you has helped me to be a better educator.

Keep working hard, and thanks for being amazing!

~Gary

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Gary is an influential teacher leader with extensive experience educating students at the high school and university level. He is a regular conference presenter, education speaker, and leader of staff development for educators. His classroom practice embraces a collaborative environment centered on constructivist teaching, project-based learning, classroom branding, Modeling Instruction, standards-based grading, and mobile device technologies.

About Gary G Abud Jr

Gary is an influential teacher leader with extensive experience educating students at the high school and university level. He is a regular conference presenter, education speaker, and leader of staff development for educators. His classroom practice embraces a collaborative environment centered on constructivist teaching, project-based learning, classroom branding, Modeling Instruction, standards-based grading, and mobile device technologies.

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