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Teacher Appreciation Month

DreamBox Celebrates Teacher Appreciation Month

How one little sentence changed everything

Today, we wrap up our month-long Teacher Appreciation series on the blog with one final story from Terese Wylie, a reading intervention teacher in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

In addition to helping students ignite their passions, the best educators often help us to discover something about ourselves — they impart lessons that go beyond a particular subject and help to shape the adults we’ll one day become. Like so many of you who wrote to share your stories of a favorite teacher, Terese’s appreciation shines a spotlight on a quality that’s often overlooked: the ability to teach the soft skills that prepare students to effectively navigate the challenges of everyday life.

The teacher who influenced me most

It was my eighth grade teacher Kim Heintzelman who influenced me the most. She used community-building activities to help me and my classmates establish a rapport and develop strong relationships. Ms. Heintzelman made lessons engaging, and treated us like young adults and collaborators, instead of students. She taught us to be accountable for our actions and behavior, and, in so doing, instilled in us confidence and a level of maturity not common in eighth graders. In fact, school administrators often trusted our class with important responsibilities.

Terese Wylie, Reading Intervention Teacher

The reason I teach

One year, I assisted with a summer reading program at our school. I had the opportunity to work with much younger students, and I specifically remember coaching one child to create a sentence. The feeling I got from this interaction alone made me realize I wanted to teach.

Today I’m a reading intervention teacher at CAI Learning Academy in Pennsylvania. Our school’s mission is to leverage forward-thinking, technology-driven instruction that will make learning more efficient and effective, and equip students with the skills necessary for life after graduation.

I love watching my students make progress throughout the year. It reminds me that I am making a difference in their world, and that they in turn will go on to make a difference too.


Thank you to everyone who participated in the DreamBox Teacher Appreciation Month Challenge. You, and your favorite teachers, have inspired us all to reflect on the educators who left a lasting impression on us. Thank you again to teachers everywhere for your dedication, patience, and creativity!

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