We all have that favorite teacher in the past that we look back and think about how they helped set our lives for the future. Whether it was in elementary school, middle school, high school, or college, someone has inspired us.

This week marks the 2014 National Teacher Appreciation Week. As the school year gets closer to the end, it's a good time to look back at the previous year and be reminded of how far life has developed.

Having a lot of friends that are teachers, I can assure you that they spend more time working than anything else. When they are away from the students, they are talking about their students. When they are frustrated, they are trying to figure out a way to help students advance. When they are at home, most nights are spent with a grade book and pen. They don't stop working.

Some of the best life lessons that a student can learn is not necessarily what year the War of 1812 was in (okay, being a little funny) but the everyday lessons that can stick with you forever.

Those can include:

  • How much glue it takes to finish a project (Dots, not lots. I remember. Mrs. Keen, Garfield Elementary)
  • How to prepare for the next steps in life. Whether college, or heading directly into the workforce. Plus, everything that you might run into during that path (Mrs. Brunken, Roosevelt H.S.)
  • To believe in yourself. When you do, anything can be accomplished (Mrs. Pope, Memorial Middle School)
  • If you want something in life, it's up to you to go get it. (Michelle Van Maanen, Candy Walton, University of South Dakota)

Take a look back this week. What teachers we're your favorite? What lessons stuck with you?

While thinking about it, pack that worm-less apple in your student's lunch bag and have them show their appreciation for their favorite teacher.