The well-known luxury designer Zac Posen and DHL, the leading global express delivery company, have joined together to do something most teachers only dream about----publicly thank teachers for what they do.
Zac created a beautiful limited-edition Italian leather bag and DHL bore all the costs of production and shipping and is donating the entire amount to TeachersCount.org, a non-profit supported by Time, Inc. and dedicated to "create a permanent culture of teacher appreciation in the U.S."
Zac will be appearing in a full page ad in one of the Time publications this fall with his
English teacher Jane Avrich, who he credits with inspiring him to succeed. This ad will appear under the banner of "Behind Every Famous Person is a Fabulous Teacher." Time is supporting this advertising and so far 20 such ads have appeared.
"I would not be where I am today if it weren't for those special creative, artistic, supportive teachers who always encouraged me to explore, think one step further outside the box and not be afraid to use imagination," Zac said.
I am sure this is true for most Americans.
TeachersCount is also planning to send every teacher in America a poster featuring its slogan. These are all great ideas to make teachers feel more appreciated and respected.
The Posen bag, designed for the "Tote for Teachers" campaign, is sold exclusively online at www.toteforteachers.org.
As a long-time teacher, I can tell you that one of the wonderful perks in teaching is the being able to positively impact the lives of students. To be publicly appreciated by students and their parents is like icing on the cake. I have been lucky in that many of my students and parents have expressed their gratitude, but many teachers are not so lucky. The drop-out rate for young teachers is appalling: 50% drop out after five years of teaching. Some of the main reasons are lack of administrative and community support for teachers, poor salaries, and lack of status for the teaching profession.
Local school boards need to work on the salary and administrative issues, but TeachersCount is working to change the way Americans view their teachers. Without good teachers, the nation as a whole suffers and the problem is only going to get worse as more teachers retire. In the next few years, the U.S. will be facing a teacher shortage. Today there is a particular shortage of science teachers nationwide. We need to change the culture to appreciate and respect teachers for everything that they do. Not everyone can show their appreciation like Zac, but many people can support the TeachersCount campaign by buying a bag, but if you can't do that, then there are other things you can do to make a difference: volunteer at your child's school, send your child's teacher a card, and support smaller class sizes.. Any kind of support will make a big difference in teacher's lives and help create a permanent culture of teacher appreciation in this country.