A Teacher Is…

Celebrate Teacher Appreciation WeekWhat is the definition of a teacher?

As described in many dictionaries, a teacher is a person who teaches or instructs, especially as a profession.

While this definition is accurate, I hope you will agree with me that it does not sufficiently describe all that a teacher embodies.

This week, Florida Virtual School is celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week, and I’d like to expand on the definition of a teacher.

At FLVS, our teachers are superheroes. While they do not wear eye masks or fancy capes, they possess special super powers. They are passionate and dedicated to working with all students, recognizing that each learner is unique and has individual strengths and needs. They go beyond educating—they listen, guide, support, and inspire.

We recently asked our staff to come up with their own definition of a teacher. Here are a few of the responses we received to our “A Teacher is…” challenge:

A teacher is like a tour guide, guiding students as they embark on their own learning journey, shining the light ensuring no one gets lost.” – Patricia Butfiloski

A teacher is … Trustworthy, Energetic, Active, Compassionate, Helpful, Encouraging, and Respectful.” – Abby Phelan

A teacher is as bright as the sun, nourishing and empowering young minds to grow, helping to turn a cloudy day into a rainbow of lifelong successes.” – Marsha Mimnaugh

A teacher is someone special in your life who insists you learn to fish for yourself; even as others try to give you a fish.” – Peter Fazio

A teacher is the master gardener of cultivating and growing minds.” – Dominique Baroco

A teacher is a person who has the power and responsibility to shape the future of our children and our country.” – Marina Gazzia

A teacher is one that is gifted to be able to turn the light of understanding on in others and grateful for the opportunity to do it.” – Rick Wiggans

Teacher Appreciation Week is a wonderful opportunity to remind the larger community of how grateful we are to teachers everywhere. Thank you for the value you bring to the lives of our children. Please join me and show love and support for our teachers and our nation’s teachers on Facebook and Twitter by using #ThankaTeacher.


Dr. Jodi MarshallDr. Jodi Marshall, FLVS President and CEO, has spent more than 20 years in the education field. Her career began at FLVS as an adjunct teacher and moved into course development, various leadership roles, and ultimately into her current position today.



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