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Stories from the Field

California Casualty Awardees Amy Hysick: Planting Seeds

Great educators have great stories. This series gives a glimpse of the ideas, practices, and experiences of the recipients of the NEA Foundation’s California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence. Today, we’re sharing the words of Amy Hysick, a science educator at Cicero-North Syracuse High School in Cicero, N.Y.

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”

-Nelson Henderson

This quote has been my teaching anthem since the beginning of my career, and it serves as a good reminder that teaching is truly an exercise in delayed gratification, for we often don’t get to see the fruits of our yearly labors fully ripen.

We give of ourselves – our time, our energy, our resources, and our creativity.

We patiently work to remove the chips on the shoulders of our students and give support and encouragement to student who don’t get those things outside of the classroom.

We trust that even when we aren’t able to directly observe the influence we have had on our students, our time and energy have been well spent because in our hearts, we know we made a difference in the lives and minds of children.

I am proud to be a teacher and will keep planting seeds wherever and whenever I can.

Meet more of the 2018 NEA Foundation awardees here. We’ll celebrate them at the 2018 Salute to Excellence in Education gala in February. Hope to see you there!

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