NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Teachers have been forced to get creative and have faced numerous challenges this past year all due to the pandemic.

As we continue to celebrate “Teacher Appreciation Week” we recognize local teachers who go above and beyond for their students like Faith Simon, who teaches biology at Polytechnic High School in the Fort Worth Independent School District.

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Simon is a member of Teach for America DFW, which identifies top teachers across the country and then places them in underserved, low-income schools, in the hopes of making a difference in the lives of students.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, she says she is more passionate than ever about teaching.

“It made me want to stay even more,” Simon says.

“I feel like I’ve always known there were problems with the public school system in America and this year has opened up a lot of people’s eyes to them.”

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Now passionate to help facilitate and advocate for improvements, she says she is excited to stay and be effective for her school and students.

Simon says one of the best things parents and students can do to make a teacher feel appreciated is to keep the lines of communication open and share with their teacher when they enjoyed a specific lesson or learned from the lesson.

“I think it is always so nice to get a phone call, email, or message from a student or parent,” Simon says.

Those words of encouragement, she says, affirms the work she is doing and encourages her to keep going.

To show gratitude after an unprecedented school year, North Texans are invited to participate in Teach For America DFW’s ‘Three Cheers For Teachers’ initiative by giving to the new Teacher Care Fund. The fund was created to support local teachers who always go above and beyond for DFW students.

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Click here to make a donations= to the Teacher Care Fund.

Madison Sawyer