If you happen to keep up with the news at all, you have probably heard about the teachers' strike held in Los Angeles on Monday, January 14th. Over 32,000 Los Angeles teachers walked out on the job to protest their low salaries, high class sizes, and lack of available counselors/nurses. In other words, America's teachers are feeling very under appreciated.

When I heard about these strikes, I reflected on my own education and the teachers I have had throughout my lifetime. In doing so, I realized our educators truly shape who we are. After all, we do spend day after day with them. I wanted to write a little thank you note to all of the teachers who have gotten me to where I am today, as well as any other teachers that feel under appreciated in this country.

Teachers, thank you for choosing the path of education. Thank you for sacrificing your time to take care of other people's children. Thank you for being a babysitter. Thank you for being a third parent. Thank you for making it your job to help others grow.

Without you, I wouldn't know how to read. I wouldn't know how to do math. I wouldn't understand science. I wouldn't know how to write. I wouldn't know jack about the past. I would have very little clues about what was going on around me and even less about around the world. Make that the universe, as I certainly would not be able to name the planets without learning about them in school. Without you, I wouldn't know one of the most powerful lessons one can be taught: that mistakes can always be corrected, and there is always room for growth and improvement.

Education is mandatory for a reason. Everyone is required at some point to be a student, but not everyone is required to be a teacher. Teachers are those that were once so inspired by what they studied or by the realization of the impact education can have, that they decided to live their lives in the service of others.

That is what teaching is to me, and that is how I believe others should view it as well: a service. Teachers are here for us, and we ought to be here for them in return. I am so grateful for the amazing education I have received from the various schools I've attended, and I can honestly say every teacher I have had the honor of listening to at one point has in some way impacted the person I have become and continue to become.

I am so sorry if you feel undervalued as an educator. I hope you realize the great influence of your career on others and eventually are given back the recognition you rightfully deserve!