Public school educators in Oregon provide approximately 12,000 hours of instructional hours during students’ educational journeys, preparing them for their futures.

There are 48 schools in Douglas Education Service District’s 13 component public school districts. More than 800 teachers provide instruction and support to students. To learn more about local school districts and opportunities for students, visit:

Students spread love to teachers

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6 – 10. Who better to thank and celebrate teachers than students? Here is a love letter to teachers compiled from students in Douglas County, beginning with words from kindergarteners and ending with high school seniors.  

Dear Teachers, 

Elementary – I love you. My teacher is really nice and helps us learn. My teacher is the best teacher and teaches us very goodly. Students can show their teachers that they love them by smiling. Since starting school I’ve learned that when raindrops drop down, they evaporate into air. What makes a great teacher is that she gives us snacks. My favorite thing about the teacher is the classroom. It’s like a normal classroom but it has pretty things in it.  

In kindergarten I used to know what 15 plus 19 is, but now I’m in first grade, I know that 400 plus 400 is 800, and 800 plus 800 is 1,600. My very favorite thing about my teacher is about learning. We used to not know stuff, but now we do. My brain gets smarter. Math makes my teacher amazing to me. My teacher tells us to learn, and that’s fun. Thank you for helping me be a great learner. Thank you for helping me learn and grow.  

My teacher helps make learning fun by helping us when something is hard. Thank you for helping me learn and grow. Students can show appreciation to their teachers by listening quietly. 

What’s the best advice from my teacher? Take a deep breath and try to give the best answer that makes sense to you. My teacher encouraged me to push through.  

My teacher helps me prepare for the future, and I’m very glad that I have a teacher like that. I just want to thank her for everything she’s done for me and the class.  

My teacher cares about everybody equally and isn’t harsh if they do a bad job on a test and says you can always do better on the next one. I’ve never learned more in a year than I did this year in fifth grade. I’ve learned from all different kinds of categories, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, multiplying decimals, all sorts of stuff. My teacher doesn’t let people mess around, and if you need help with something, she’ll go and help you. If you feel like you’re going to give up, my teacher helps you to get through it. To make learning fun, my teacher tells jokes sometimes. Kids could show their appreciation by not talking back and saying please and thank you more and be nice to them.  

Middle School – I like all of the teachers, and all of the teachers like me. Thank you because you’re nice and you let us listen to music.

My teacher encourages everyone. My teacher encouraged me to do good. That makes me joyful. One time I was stuck on this math question and my teacher helped me through it, and I was able to get a good grade on that assignment. That made me feel like I was respected and that I can ask questions. Thanks for always encouraging me and for helping me with my work.

When my teacher gives lectures, he wants us to learn, he wants us to have fun, he just doesn’t want us to go through it . . . he’ll make games that have critical thinking questions.

In science we do these cool experiments sometimes and talk about ecosystems.

What makes a great teacher? A teacher that doesn’t give up on you . . . and keeps supporting you and loving you. A great teacher is someone who understands the student and looks into the student’s perspective.

What are favorite things about my teachers? They’re cooperative, they’re helping if someone needs help. That makes me feel good. I can count on them for being there for me.

My teacher cares about every individual and how they’re feeling that day. It makes me feel understood.

High School – Students can show appreciation for their teachers by being better in class, like listening. One time our teacher put in six hours preparing a lesson for us . . . six hours is a long time. A lot of teachers allow you to work in groups. When we’re learning together, we get to add new ideas I can’t think of that someone could add.  

My teacher taught me about a ton of career paths, from welding to ag. My teacher continuously encourages me to talk to people and get out and about in the school, and continuously pushes me to do better. He helped me a lot with choosing what school I want to go to and what career path . . . from researching what college I want to go to and finding the best financial path for me.  

What makes a teacher a great teacher? A lot of listening and trying to understand what people are going through. I think it’s just a lot of understanding and being willing to talk. There’s obviously a professional boundary but having the chance to build a connection with a student is always a really good thing. Respect teachers and be kind to them.  

Appreciation can be shown to teachers by realizing that teachers do it for you [the students], realizing that teachers are real people as well, and they’re dedicating their life to you and realizing that, taking that in, spreading love to your teachers.