Think back to when you were in school. Was there a special teacher that you still remember? From bringing lessons alive to inspiring future careers and passions, teachers often shape the lives of their students. This week, parents and students across the country are honoring their favorite educators for Teacher Appreciation Week. Hear from our NBC News colleagues as they share memories about the teachers and school staff that had a profound impacted on them.
“He helped me realize that future, for which I’m forever grateful.”
NBC Nightly News Anchor Lester Holt was fortunate to have lots of great teachers growing up, but the one that made the biggest impact on him was a teacher at Cordova High School in Rancho Cordova, CA. Early on, this teacher recognized Lester’s interest in broadcasting and offered him a unique opportunity to help him announce some of local high school football games. That one small chance helped to put Lester on a path that led him to become a national news anchor.
“She made algebra really exciting.”
For lots of kids, math can be a pain. Some will even go as far as saying, “I hate math!” But for TODAY Show Anchor Savannah Guthrie, her deep love of mathematics came alive in thanks to her 7th grade algebra teacher at Orange Grove Middle School in Tucson, Arizona. Not only did her teacher make algebra really exciting, but she became a great female role model as well. Below Savannah shares the special way her teacher used to describe really difficult math problems. It’s a word that she has never been able to forget.
“First time that I thought learning…was fun.”
For TODAY Show Anchor Willie Geist, he never really found learning and being in school all that fun. That changed dramatically after sitting in his third grade classroom at Glen School in Ridgewood, NJ. His teacher’s outsized personality and enthusiasm got him hooked on knowledge. He credits her love of spelling bees, math games and overall fun in the classroom as being the first time he thought learning could be fun.
“He somehow knew how to light a fire.”
As a proud public school graduate, NBC News Correspondent Erica Hill had many teachers that influenced her life, but one in particular sparked her interest in journalism. A high school teacher at the Morgan School in Clinton, CT taught her to love reading and also how to write, but more importantly, he taught Erica and her classmates how to ask questions and explore the world. Without his encouragement and support, Erica is sure that she never would have taken advantage of all of the opportunities that were presented to her in high school.
“She was living proof that women can excel in math.”
Role models are important, especially when it comes to helping girls connect with opportunities in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. For the TODAY Show’s Dylan Dryer, her biggest role model growing up was her high school calculus teacher in Manalapan, NJ. Her teacher’s intellect and drive helped to inspire Dylan to go on to become a meteorologist.
“I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Everyone that works in a school has the ability to make a huge impact on kids. For NBC News Correspondent Ron Allen, the most important teacher in his life was actually a guidance counselor at St. Peter’s Prep School in Jersey City, NJ. Through a program this guidance counselor ran for inner city kids, Ron was able to attend St. Peter’s Prep on a scholarship and is convinced that without that love and support, he wouldn’t be where he is today.
What are you doing this week to appreciate the teachers in your life? Let us know in the comments below.