My kids might be in the minority, but once the midway point of August rolls around, they’re done with vacation and they ache to be back in school.

“I wish it was only a month,” Zacharie says of the summer break. “It’s too long. I miss my friends and teachers.”

I don’t know for how many more summers he’ll have this sentiment (he’s entering Grade 6 this year and the tween bitterness and angst is setting in), but I do love that my son craves the routine, camaraderie, and atmosphere of his school.

It’s always been like that for Zacharie.

Right from the first day of kindergarten when he flashed an OMG I AM AT SCHOOL! kind of grin for his teacher, Madame Amy.

Amy was transitioning from teacher to administrator when Z was in kindergarten and that year started her being a guiding force in his life. After a lacklustre year in the public system, it was Amy who advocated for Zacharie to be re-admitted to our independent school despite his less than stellar report card.

As Zacharie struggled with literacy, it was Amy who made time for him each day to teach him to read, having him into her office, going through books and giving him strategies. Even now, it’s Amy greeting Zacharie at the bottom of the stairs after each school day giving him a hug as he smiles and sighs “Madame Amy!”

Amy was Zacharie’s first ‘real’ teacher and, truth be told, she was my first “teacher as a parent.” With Zacharie being my oldest, and the first to hit school, Amy taught me the ins and outs of school as much as she taught Zacharie how to play nice, co-operate, and read.

I remember the opening week of his kindergarten year clearly. I walked up and introduced myself to Amy as Zacharie’s dad, but she already knew who I was. As a tech and twitter savvy teacher, Amy had read my blog. Just as many parents Google up teachers each fall, it appears teachers do that to parents too 😉

And so began a fantastic relationship that even now, 6 years later, I still find Amy as the first person I reach out to with questions about the education system, Zacharie’s teachers, or issues that might arise with school.

She’s been an open, honest resource for our entire family. I don’t know how I could have navigated my sons’ scholastic careers without someone like her helping me understand the system and going above and beyond in with helping and advocating for my boys.

Along with pics on the front porch, my sons take pics with Amy each year on the First Day of School, each with a bigger smile than the next.

So as your feeds fill up with First Day Of School pics and you scroll back through Facebook Memories sighing at how much they’ve grown and changed and learned, let’s toss some respect back to the greatest influences in our kids’ education – their teachers.

World Teachers’ Day is October 5th and Microsoft Canada is supporting and honouring educators with #BecauseYouTeach. It’s a chance to nominate those special teachers (like Mme Amy) who bring joy or motivate our kids to do better every day.

Nominated teachers will be entered to win an award to include everything from professional development to a device pack (for their whole class) and more.

The best part?

Each teacher nominated will receive a celebratory note to let them know just how much their hard work in the classroom is remembered well past the end-of-day bell.

NOMINATING IS EASY!

A teacher’s job may not be easy, but nominating them is.  Simply fill out the form online and share one or a combination of the following:

How your teacher improves learning, inspires students’ interests or career aspirations, fosters an inclusive learning environment,

Or how they help students’ realize and act upon their strengths.

You could help your teacher win one of these great awards from Microsoft!

Visit microsoft.ca/teachers to share a story or upload a video about your nominated teacher. Here’s a link to the official contest rules.

This post is sponsored by Microsoft

From affordable devices to free lessons, Microsoft Education empowers students and teachers to do great things.

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