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Education that integrates inquiry-based learning and real-world issues increase student engagement, a catalyst for academic achievement and drop-out prevention. Beyond that? It's just plain fun--to teach, to learn, and to design solutions for a sustainable future.

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Appreciating Teachers: Let's Say 'Thank You'

by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 6, 2013 6:26 PM
UPDATE: Want to win a $25 gift card to spend in Facing the Future's online store, while helping us celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week?

Tell us about a teacher who inspired you by leaving a comment on our latest blog post, and you'll be entered to win!
(winner will be selected 5.13.13)

Let’s talk about Ms. Jones.

At a time in my life where English classes were neither challenging nor inspiring, Ms. Jones introduced me to meaningful writing and reading. I’d never had a class where students were assigned novels and short stories for homework, and I’d never taken a course where classtime often consisted of sitting around and chatting about the reading and how it related to my life and the world. At first I thought it was great because as a class we often felt as if we were just hanging out with a cool teacher who really knew things about the world. Really she was laying a foundation for each of us to be responsible global citizens.

The course was called “Modern Fiction, Modern Times” and I appreciate it to this day for many reasons. The first was that I built community with my classmates because we discussed topics that excited us, worried us, and challenged us. It also showed me that literature could serve as a space to comment on the world around us, whether that was a positive observation or a criticism, and that my own writing could accomplish the same. It opened my eyes to the concept of social justice, encouraged me to challenge normative worldviews, and taught me the value of understanding the world around me on a deeper level than I ever had before.

From "Modern Fiction, Modern Times" during my senior year of high school I went to college and quickly realized that I wanted to learn more. I learned that the world was complex and went far beyond the little town I grew up in. I eventually taught similar courses that (hopefully) inspired students to challenge the lenses with which they view the world around them, and I currently work with teachers to help them do the same.

Most of us here at Facing the Future used to be teachers. Most of my colleagues inspired students to be globally aware. I think that’s why they work at FTF, and it’s why I do too. We believe that great teachers can have significant impacts on students, and our materials can help make that processes a little easier and a bit more streamlined.

Today is National Teacher Day (in fact, this whole week is Teacher Appreciation Week!). We’d like to take this opportunity to thank inspirational and dedicated teachers. Teachers work hard to reach students and make a meaningful impact on their lives. These kinds of teachers deserve appreciation every day, but we’d like to take National Teacher Day as an opportunity to say thank you to each of you for your hard work and your commitment.

We'd also like to take this opportunity to tip our caps to some of the outstanding teachers we work with here at FTF. I've visited the classrooms of several teachers who use our materials, and while I believe that our curriculum can inspire students and empower teachers, it is clear to me that exceptional teachers are what make the most significant impact on students. Watch "Facing the Future: A Brief Introduction" to see what I mean and get a look at these stellar teachers in action!

How have you thanked a teacher today? Tell us what you did and help share the good cheer!

Until next time,


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Keep up with the latest from Facing the Future and sustainability education! Check this blog regularly for special offers from Facing the Future and for information on topics like: global issues, professional development opportunities, service learning, and tips on how to get the most from FTF materials.

1 comment(s) so far...

Thomas Polley 5/9/2013

Not K-12 teachers, but I had a few professors who really shaped how I studied in college and lived the rest of my life. Merl Prim, Kristin Arola, and Victor Villanueva. They taught me how to learn and be a lifelong learner. Thank you!!!


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We equip and motivate students to develop critical thinking skills, build global awareness, and engage in positive solutions for a sustainable future through hands-on curricula and professional learning.

Facing the Future is an
independent program of WWU