I believe it takes a special heart to be a teacher. There’s a kindness, a generosity, and a work ethic that is inspiring, and let’s face it, often goes unappreciated. Both Penn and I were raised by teachers. Our mothers led classrooms for years and I’m still in awe of the work they did.
Encouraging Penn’s Creative Writing
Penn’s mom, Mary, worked as a teacher at an inner city school in Alabama before Penn and his brother were born. She left teaching to raise her children, but her work in the world of teaching did not stop there. She worked tirelessly to help her school system – from being President of the PTA year after year to eventually helping found Project Graduation in Durham, NC.
Mary believed everyone deserves the right to a good education. This naturally spilled over into Penn’s life as she was particularly passionate about his grammar and writing. To this day, he credits all of his writing creativity to his Mom.
Showing Me The Value of Hard Work
So many of my own childhood memories are of my mom, Peggy, sitting at the end of our kitchen table (often well past midnight) grading papers. She would then get up early again the next morning to do it all over again. In addition to her regular job responsibilities, she coached the debate team to make (a tiny bit) of extra income to make things work in our family.
Do you know what my mom would often do with that little bit of extra money? She would turn around and use it to help kids in her classroom buy their school supplies or purchase materials for her classroom. I am SO proud of my mom.
Pay It Forward
Teachers, we see you. We see how MUCH you put into your job because you care about all of your students. No other profession expects individuals to put so much of their own resources back into their job to be able to actually do their job.
We ask so much of teachers and they deserve so much more than this. It’s sad that there has to be a #clearthelist initiative, but if this can help lighten their load, we are happy to help get the conversation started.
In 2022, we personally spending a chunk of our winnings from The Amazing Race to clear as many teachers’ lists as possible. We were honored to be able to help in some small way, and now we are encouraging you to do the same.
TEACHERS: Head over to our “Clear The List” post on our Facebook page and share your wishlist in the comments. For everyone else out there, let’s #clearthelist for all of these well-deserving teachers. Every single little bit helps so much.