A Message of Gratitude for Our Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week

“A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart.”  

This week, May 2 to May 6, is Teacher Appreciation Week. It is a special time to celebrate those who lend their passion and skills to educating our children. Our mission – empowering individuals with autism and developmental disabilities to lead fulfilling lives – comes to fruition each day from the dedication and efforts demonstrated by our teachers and other education professionals. Their outstanding contributions encourage Birch Family Services more than 1000 students to learn, and to thrive, even under extraordinarily challenging circumstances. They empower our students to be brave, strong, and smart, and to believe in themselves. For many children coming to our schools, this is their first school experience with an educator. Our staff are the first teachers or professionals that our families experience. Families build relationships with them and see first-hand how we work with their children. Teachers inspire our children – helping them believe that anything is possible. They help our children to dream and reach for the stars.  

To be effective with our children and families, it requires a tremendous amount of enthusiasm, creativity, patience, and empathy. Teachers must be sensitive and compassionate to the needs of each child to build effective relationships with each of them. For more than two years, teachers and other education staff have been continuously challenged to figure out how to innovate and adapt so our students receive a quality education. Their flexibility and commitment to providing education for our students is the Birch impact – that’s why families seek our services. We provide hope and motivate children to take chances. Our children and families know that their teachers are their biggest cheerleaders. Now, more than ever, is the time for all of us to express our gratitude and appreciation that they so rightly deserve.

I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to all our teachers in recognition of the work that they do each day to help our students reach new heights during this extraordinary time. The pandemic, lack of resources for families, staff shortages, and the stressors our children have endured during this period have not deterred their extraordinary efforts in supporting our students and families. They are inspiring and motivate me to continue working on behalf of our students, families, and staff to ensure we have the tools we need to provide great learning experiences for our students.  

Teachers and their colleagues are the spark, the inspiration, and the guide for our students so that they can succeed and lead the lives they choose. I hope everyone will take a minute to acknowledge those educators who have made a difference in the lives of your children  

On behalf of the individuals and families we support each day– THANK YOU! We salute the work you do. 

With respect and admiration,  

Matt Sturiale
President & CEO
Birch Family Services