Bridget Moynahan: Teacher Appreciation Week

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we're celebrating teachers who've made an impact on our lives. Bridget Moynahan, Jumpstart National Board Member and actress and star of CBS' Blue Bloods, shares why she believes teachers play such a critical role in our society.

Teachers. They are so important. When I look back at some of my favorite teachers, I can’t help but feel lucky to have had so many wonderful people in my life that are passionate about education and caring for others.

I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts, Longmeadow, where I went to school until I was 18 years old. Although there are many teachers that stand out in my mind, I will never forget my junior year English teacher, Mr. Leblanc. Mr. Leblanc stood in the hallway every morning and greeted every student as they walked into school. He stood calmly and peacefully with his hands clasped behind his back and a smile on his face, wearing slacks and a white collared short-sleeved shirt. While I’m sure that he had other shirts, this is how I distinctly remember him. One thing that never changed about his wardrobe was a button that he wore every single day. The button read, “I CARE.”

Mr. Leblanc was and is one of the most thoughtful people that I have ever met. He was a passionate teacher who not only cared about homework and test scores; he cared about his students. I will never forget the time that he took me out of my typing class (yes, we had typing class, and yes this makes me feel old!) because he noticed that I wasn’t acting like myself and thought something might be wrong. He was right. I was thankful to be seen that day and I was thankful to be heard. He helped me when I was down and steered me back in the right direction. I am forever grateful for that day in class, and for teachers like Mr. Leblanc that look past the textbooks and curricula, and into the eyes of their students.

Mr. Leblanc taught for 40 years. I have not spoken to or seen him since I graduated from Longmeadow High School in 1989. I recently read, to no surprise, that he is volunteering 30 hours a week in a nearby town. Why? Because HE CARES. Mr. Leblanc, if you’re out there and somehow find yourself reading this blog, thank you for noticing, thank you for listening, and thank you for believing.

All across the world, teachers are changing the way children think, giving young adults a chance, and providing hope for a better tomorrow. I am so appreciative of all the amazing teachers that I’ve had, and still have in my life, as I can continue to grow and learn new things every day. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to Mr. Leblanc and to all teachers out there making a difference!

We want to hear about a teacher who’s made an impact on your life! Share three adjectives that describe an influential teacher you know here.

Bridget Moynahan, actress and star of CBS' Blue Bloods, is a member of Jumpstart's National Board of Directors.

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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