Kids tell us why their teachers mean the world to them

May 3, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. ET

In celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Day on May 3, we teamed up with SONIC’s Limeades for Learning program and gathered our #HatchKids to get the inside scoop about how much great teachers really mean to our kids.

The Limeades for Learning program works to provide funding for innovative teaching techniques that will inspire creativity and a love for learning in today’s children. More than 40,000 public school students benefited from the program in 2014 alone.

As moms, we know the priceless importance of having great teachers for our children. An effective teacher has the unique ability to unlock creativity and imagination in a child — and perhaps even more important, to encourage a child to discover their unique set of skills and passions they didn’t know they had.

A study by Harvard University tracked 2.5 million students over a 20-year period and found that “students assigned to high-value teachers" — that is, ones who improve a student’s test scores over time — "are more likely to attend college, earn higher salaries, live in wealthier neighborhoods, save more for retirement… [and avoid teen pregnancy].”

All things we want for our kids, right?

The study also uncovered a staggering statistic: Replacing a low-value teacher with an average-value teacher “would generate lifetime earnings gains worth more than $250,000 for the average classroom.”

$250,000! Clearly the value of a great teacher carries far beyond a child’s learning years.

We know teachers have the power to make a real difference in the lives of their students, yet they remain underfunded. In fact, the average public school teacher in the United States spends $485 out of pocket every year on things like classroom supplies and technology, according to a report from the National School Supply and Equipment Association. The commitment is real.

So how can we thank the teachers in our community? We can tell them how much they mean to us and why.

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Image: SheKnows

We can thank them for all that they do.

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Image: SheKnows

And we can remind them that the world would not be the same without them in it.

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Image: SheKnows

Watch the whole video above, and check out our discussion guide to plan a Teacher Appreciation Day activity with the kids in your lives.

This post was brought to you by SONIC.