Today marks the start of Teacher Appreciation Month in the U.S. and here at Microsoft, we’re pausing to celebrate the great work of teachers around the world.

Somewhere today, a person is teaching a future leader to read. Another person is putting a stethoscope in the hands of a future chief surgeon and teaching them how to hear a heartbeat. Often, these first lessons begin at the hands of teachers, with students who otherwise may never have realized their gifts.

I’ve thought a lot about the teachers that have impacted my life. My grandparents were teachers, as are my mother and some of my siblings. I had fabulous teachers as I grew up, who not only encouraged but challenged me to make the most of my own education. At Microsoft, our commitment to teachers runs through Partners in Learning, an initiative that started in 2003, aimed at improving teaching and learning through relevant and scalable technologies, services and programs. The Microsoft Partners in Learning Network currently includes more than 8 million educators, reaching more than 190 million students in 114 countries.

During my tenure at Microsoft, I’ve met some of the most dedicated and imaginative educators. At the Worldwide Innovation Education Forum last October, I was surrounded by 125 teachers from 60 countries who have implemented innovative teaching practices into their classrooms, sparking a new energy in their community. To these teachers, and all the other innovative teachers who get students excited and engaged in the learning process, we thank you.

Join us in taking a moment to reflect on the teachers who have influenced your journey, and share your teacher appreciation message on Twitter, using the hashtag  #thanksteach or adding your message as a comment on our Facebook page.

 

We also encourage U.S. teachers to apply for this year’s Innovative Education event – the deadline for U.S. teachers is May 15, 2011. We continue to be inspired by your work and your help educating the future leaders of our global community.

Posted by Lauren Woodman
General Manager, Partners in Learning, Microsoft