"Ask students what they think, what they want to learn, what they are doing and what they care about. It sounds so simple, but it can take persistence and patience to convince them you are truly interested and to get answers that will reveal the potential and brilliance that is within each and every child."
— Mary Eldredge-Sandbo, North Dakota Teacher of the Year
"In 2022, it is my kindergarteners who will be running the world. My message is this: Let's work together to create a future for them that is so bright and beautiful and worthy of the amazing children that they are."
— Kristi Luetjen, Connecticut Teacher of the Year
"Learning requires courage, persistence and empathy. Courage, because it can be frightening to see the world in new ways. Persistence, because challenging our brain takes time and effort. And finally, empathy, because the people filling the pages of history books are like you and me."
— Maryann Woods-Murphy, New Jersey Teacher of the Year
"Strive not to be the best in the world, but rather the best for the world."
— Eric Nash, New Hampshire Teacher of the Year
"I greet my second-graders each morning outside my classroom door with a smile, a welcoming greeting and a handshake, fist bump or high five. It is this type of personal connection that has the greatest impact on student motivation. In other words, relationships matter."
— Kevin Grover, Maine Teacher of the Year
"Practice makes permanent: Success begins with the habits, skills and behaviors we develop, and what we practice becomes permanent, not necessarily perfect."
— Susan Morris, Department of Defense Teacher of the Year
"When students trust in their teacher, they are willing to push themselves in all academic areas. It is just as important to help students build relationships with each other. I have seen students who were far underachieving their peers, and when they found a friend, their academic performance skyrocketed!"
— Donna DuBois, Oregon Teacher of the Year