An Open Letter to Teachers: You Are a Hero

Jami Fowler-WhiteBlog, Connect Better, Lead Better, Manage Better, Reflect Better, Self Care Better


  • Prior to the pandemic, people did not put as much thought into what a teacher did every day. People began to recognize the work of teachers when they had to teach their own children at home.
  • A hero is a legendary figure endowed with great strength and agility. They have special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities. They are idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, and noble qualities.
  • Teachers are heroes who are resilient, think outside of the box, and push themselves, their students, and each other.
  • Believe in yourself and each other. Lean on each other for support. We are here for you.

You Are a Hero

Dear Teacher,

As we embark upon Teacher Appreciation Week, it seems to feel different this year. Over the course of the past few months, people all over the world have begun to consider educators in a unique light. Pre-pandemic teaching was respected as a steady, archetypal profession that could always be counted on. I don’t think people really thought about what happened within a school after they dropped their children off each day. They never really considered how a teacher was able to assist countless students as they learned to read, write, count, and speak new languages. All parents knew is that they didn’t have to worry about it. They trusted in the ability of their child’s teacher to handle it all. And up until then, this is exactly what teachers did day in and day out.

Teacher Recognition

After the world shut down, it didn’t take long for many to realize that educating children was not as easy as it appeared. Amazingly, we brought school inside the homes of millions. Parents and the community began to see that teaching is so much more than just a profession. This launched the beginning of a reformed view of teaching and learning. It was amazing to watch teachers get featured on the Today Show and in news segments. But my favorite to date is the one that motivational speaker, Jeremy Anderson, dedicated to educators. It was simply titled American Hero. At last, people began to realize that those of us who choose to serve in the role of a teacher possess what many now believe are extraordinary, hero-like capabilities.

Heroes are hidden gems that somehow manage to muster up an unexpected amount of strength that saves the day, often the world, in movies. Teachers are the heroes our kids are hoping will save them. Click To Tweet

What is a hero?

  • Merriam-Webster defines a hero as a legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength and agility
  • delineates that a hero is a person who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal.
  • Oxford Language describes a hero as a person who is admired, idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, and noble qualities.
Teachers as heroes

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Teachers as heroes…

If asked, I’m willing to bet you could name several teachers, legendary figures, who taught in the schools you attended in your youth. What qualities would you use to describe them? Did the words respected, remarkable, strong, caring, honorable, or courageous come to mind?

When I think back over my schooling, those teachers who impacted me most are all of these words and so many more. Just as you thought back and smiled while thinking about those teachers who tirelessly worked to make you into the person you are today, that’s how you are viewed by children, past and present. You are a hero to students.

What will history say about teachers?

As we work to bring this school year to a close, consider how you want your hero story to be written. What resonated most to me as I watched Jeremy Anderson’s video to teachers was the reminder that “there is no doubt what we can accomplish when we have our mindset and perspective intact.” When it’s all said and done, what will we be able to say about each of you in your school’s history books? This will be far from easy, but any great accomplishment rarely is. As educators, we have a secret weapon that is innately in us for times just like this.

We have:

  • The unexplainable ability to push ourselves, our students, and each other.
  • To stand tall as models of resilience.
  • That refuse to quit attitude!
  • The ability to continuously think outside of the box.
  • A robust mentality that fills us with the belief that we already have everything we need to manifest greatness.
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Teachers are hidden heroes.

We can do this! I believe in each of you, and I know that you believe in each other. I’m asking you to believe in yourself and in turn, charge your scholars to believe in themselves. This is the key to our schools coming out on top. Gems are rare and hidden in the most unusual places.

Heroes are hidden gems that somehow manage to muster up an unexpected amount of strength that saves the day, often the world, in movies. Teachers are the heroes our kids are hoping will save them.

Be brave!

Be bold!

And be innovative!

We are here to support you, cry with you, vent with you. But at the end of the day, we have got to pull ourselves out of the negativity trap. Remember that we are Teacher Strong and building a community for a better tomorrow. Together we can overcome any obstacle. You are an American Hero. Put on your cape and have a great day of teaching and learning.


Jami Fowler-White

See the full blog series here!

About Jami Fowler-White

Jami Fowler-White is the CEO of Digital PD 4 You, LLC. Over the past two decades, she has served in many capacities in education which include ten years as a classroom teacher, an Instructional Coach, and a Core Advocate with Achieve the Core. She currently mentors First-time and Renewal candidates for the National Board and is a charter member of the National Board Network of Minoritized Educators and Black Women Education Leaders, Incorporated.

Additionally, Mrs. Fowler-White is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and currently serves as an assistant principal in Shelby County Schools (TN). Fowler-White also provides professional development under the umbrella of the National Board and Digital PD 4 You for schools and districts.

She is the author/coauthor of several books including, Educator Reflection Tips, Volume #1, EduMatch’s Snapshots in Education 2020: Remote Learning Edition, The Skin You are In: Colorism in the Black Community, 2nd Edition, and Educator Reflection Tips, Volume II: Refining our Practice.

Jami blogs at , has a bi-monthly leadership blog on Insight Advance, and writes a monthly blog entitled the Better Mindset on She can be contacted via email at: and invites you to connect with her on Twitter via @JjJj821