For me, this is a very personal matter. I grew up in a family of educators—both of my parents were school teachers, and many others in my family worked in education. I was the outlier in my family for going off to get an MBA. But apples don’t fall far from the tree—I’ve now worked in online education for over 20 years, my oldest son spent several years working in youth services with middle-school kids, while my younger son is a high school math teacher and coach.
Growing up, I saw the hard work and dedication that teaching takes. I have many memories of my parents working late into the night, sitting at the kitchen table grading papers. At that time, as today, teaching was a respected profession but not highly paid. As a result, both of my parents took numerous second and third jobs in addition to their full-time teaching positions; my mother taught evening courses at the local community college, while my father worked construction and manufacturing jobs (as well as playing in a band on weekend, which he would have done even if he didn’t get paid!).
But the rewards were great. I heard many stories about former students of my parents coming back to the school and thanking my parents for the difference they’d made in those students’ lives. These moments always filled my parents with pride and joy.
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
This quote (often attributed to the 19th century poet William Butler Yeats, but which more likely originated with the philosopher Plutarch) is one that has long been a favorite of mine. Our favorite teachers are those who have inspired us, challenged us, and driven us to believe in ourselves.
At Learning.com, we partner with districts, schools, and teachers to help prepare students for success in the digital world. Our blended-learning programs are delivered in classrooms around the nation to help ensure students have access to high-quality programs for learning important digital skills in areas such as computer fundamentals and typing, online safety, computational thinking and coding, and business applications such as word processing, presentations, spreadsheets and more. We strive to ensure that all of our products, lesson plans and support materials are designed to save teachers time.
From all of us at Learning.com: Thank you to all of our teacher partners for the incredible work you do!
Keith Oelrich joined Learning.com as CEO in 2012. A pioneer in the K-12 online education market since 2000, Keith has served as CEO of several companies which have collectively provided K-12 online education programs to thousands of districts, tens of thousands of schools and millions of students and their families.
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