This afternoon I expressed my gratitude to a science teacher at one of the schools I serve at. She's new to our district and is putting in lots of hours creating dynamic and engaging lessons for her students. I am especially thankful because she goes above and beyond to reach the newcomers in her class who are understandably overwhelmed by all the newness - new culture, new language, new school, new friends. She finds resources in Spanish, translates some of the material herself (even though at the secondary level she's not obligated to do so), she finds ways to engage them rather than isolating them and makes the content as comprehensible as possible. In addition to differentiating for ELLs, she's goes above and beyond for all types of learners.
I think about her often, but it wasn't until today that I verbally expressed gratitude on behalf of the English learners. She's an awesome teacher, caring and dedicated to reaching every child every day and I wanted to make sure she knew her efforts are not going unnoticed. She graciously thanked me, but I hope that my words add fuel to her fire and keep her light from burning out. I won't share too many details because one never knows who will read this, but let's just say I sensed she was needing a little encouragement.
Just paying forward what others have done for me.