In the midst of all the controversy of state and national testing of students, there is this: my children have had amazing teachers. As a teacher, and a mother, I believe I have a pretty significant understanding of what makes a teacher effective. So I make that statement with a clear understanding of its meaning. My children have been provided an education that is significantly above just good. These teachers have taught my children the academic information they need to become successful. They have come early and stayed late to spend time with my kids to ensure that they understand the material. They have altered lesson plans, materials, and presentation formats to make sure that my children are learning at the highest level. They have inspired, encouraged, and pushed my kids. My kids are better people because of the influence and effort of these teachers. Teachers who invested so much of themselves into their students. Teachers who cared about each and every student who entered their classrooms. Teachers who taught my kids how to learn, not just facts. Teachers who taught my kids to explore, and be curious, and enjoy learning. In this season of high stakes testing and even higher stress levels, I want these men and women to know how grateful I am for what they have given to my children and to our family.