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Motley Crew

Get your apples, flowers, and tchotchkes ready, because today, May 9, is Teacher Appreciation Day. And wow, we have a lot to appreciate. On top of lesson plans, parent teacher conferences, and standardized testing mandates, classroom teachers deal with issues like sniffly noses, “mean girls,” and students who come to school hungry. And in between all of that, teachers are also expected to TEACH!

We are very familiar with teachers, because year after year, teachers across this region invite NCADA into their classrooms to add a vital piece to students’ school day. Maybe we’re there to help build friendships among their kindergartners; or help instill empathy in their 4th graders; or help teach the substance use unit in their 8th grade health curriculum; or to help train their high school seniors to be peer mentors. All of these different kinds of lessons are designed to do the same thing: develop the protective factors that will help insulate their kids from the risk factors they’ll inevitably face later in their lives.

If you know a classroom teacher, you know that they are very protective of their instruction time – and even more protective of their students. So another reason we appreciate them is that they put their trust in us and, 98.6% of the time, invite us back into their buildings year after year.

You might wonder why teachers in more than 280 schools trust NCADA.

The most obvious reason is because our small but mighty team of Prevention Educators consistently delivers quality programming that results in demonstrable behavior change.

But, if you ask me, I think the REAL reason that teachers trust us is because of the amazing people we deploy to their classrooms. People who are themselves not just former teachers, they’re former great teachers. The teachers you wish you had when you were still in school.

They are musicians, artists, athletes, fashionistas, and culinarians who also happen to be certified teachers. They are retired teachers, counselors and social workers who, when urged to find their passion, opted to continue serving kids. They are moms, dads, aunts, uncles, and grandmas who are adept at engaging kids of all ages from all social strata.

So, on this Teacher Appreciation Day, I am appreciative of the teachers across the region who perform an invaluable service for our kids. But most of all I am grateful for the motley crew of ridiculously passionate NCADA Prevention Educators that I am privileged enough to work with each and every day. I appreciate you!

Nichole Dawsey is the Director of Prevention Education at NCADA.

Categories: Commentary

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