On teacher representation and appreciation

Jadyn Fleming

Scholar, Rogers Honors Academy


BEING AT THE beginning of the digital age means a lot of things. There’s a lot of accessibility, a lot of information, and the ability to connect with so many different people, countries, and cultures. My generation is more holistic, inclusive and empathetic.

More Voices

Representation matters. It took until ninth grade for me to have a teacher, Ms. Rigsby, who looked like me.”

During the pandemic, school participation definitely decreased and being in a virtual format was hard. The most important aspect of education is the one-on-one contact with teachers, the people you’re trusting your kids with every day.

If I was running my own high school, I would definitely pay attention to the staff I hire. I believe I’m here today because of the teachers who chose to give me time and attention and donate all of their efforts and emotion to me. Representation matters, too. It took until ninth grade for me to have a teacher, Ms. Rigsby, who looked like me. During the pandemic or whenever I experienced a really close loss, the relationships I had with my teachers definitely contributed to my success today.


We need people who represent the students and want the best for their students. Just because you speak Spanish does not mean that you have to be limited to teaching Spanish or because you’re Black doesn’t mean you have to teach a cultural-type class. Hire teachers and let them teach in subjects they’re qualified to teach, not just what is convenient for the school.

We also need to value teachers. More than just teacher appreciation days and shout-outs or a parking lot spot for a week. Give them what they actually deserve, whether that be in payment or recognition in the community as a whole. If you value your teachers, it shows, and then they reciprocate that to the students.