While I was in San Antonio, I had the opportunity to visit with a VISTA volunteer who works to in drop-out prevention among the Hispanic population. Partnering with College for all Texans, Communities in Schools, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, her mission is to educate students about career and college options. Over lunch, I asked this extremely motivated young woman who had been instrumental in her own life. Without hesitation, she said that her high school teachers had high expectations for the student body; their encouragement inspired her to succeed. This made me realize once again, the pivotal job which teachers share: our supportive words that come alongside students and say, "Come on, you can do it!" may mean the difference between a student staying in school or dropping out.
At Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the millions of teachers who embrace this task.