15 Teachers Share Their Biggest Wishes for the New School Year

As many children get back to in-person learning during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, teachers from across the country share their dreams for students starting a brand-new school year.

By Mike Vulpo Sep 03, 2021 12:00 PMTags
Watch: Teachers Share Uplifting Messages to Students Amid Coronavirus

The influence of a good teacher can never be erased.

Although it may seem like Memorial Day was just yesterday, Labor Day weekend unofficially means summer is over and it's time to head back to school.

This year, many students are returning to in-person learning for the first time in more than a year and a half. But like always, teachers are ready to give kids of all ages a safe and special school year. 

"I wish that families knew that we are all going to be doing our best under some stressful and challenging circumstances," Los Angeles school teacher Nicolle Fefferman told E! News. "Everyone needs a little love every so often, so hearing positive feedback from students and families is so wonderful."

And as the co-moderator of the Parents Supporting Teachers Facebook group, the social studies teacher has some ways to share appreciation for teachers working so hard. 

"Some teachers love handwritten notes of love. Some teachers love books and coffee. Some teachers love when families can chip in to help make the class more inviting with supplies," Nicolle explained. "Some teachers love when families help create a strong classroom community. Students and families should check in with their teachers about what their 'love language' is as we start this school year. For sure though, the thank yous and hugs feed our teacher souls."

Garcelle Beauvais Transforms Miami Teachers' Lounge

For now, we're putting the spotlight on 15 amazing teachers who are sharing their hopes, dreams and wishes for a brand-new school year. Prepare to get inspired with the A+ work happening across the country. 

Kathy Kellogg

Fourth-Grade Teacher in Columbia, Mo.

"I hope that parents know how much we love their kids and how we welcome them into our classrooms each year with open arms! Last year and this upcoming year will still be difficult as we are still in a pandemic. The kids are doing their best, teachers and admin are working hard. All we can ask for is patience and kindness as we all navigate something new and challenging! I will always feel empowered to have my students feeling confident, loved and safe every single day."

Kristin Mitchell

Tenth-Grade Teacher in Orange County, Fla.

"My wish is that my students remember the year they were able to come back to school fully face to face as one of the best years they've had. I want them to be able to prove to themselves that are strong enough go through anything, even a pandemic, and still come out on top!" 

Bekah Hussung

Middle School Art Teacher in Ramsey, Ind.

"My wish is for people to remember that art is also very important for student's education too. I know we live in a society that is hyper focused on math, science and testing scores. But art is critical for their education too. It helps them develop fine motor skills, decision-making and risk taking when they are younger. And older students going into the workforce need to be creative problem solvers, critical thinkers and to think outside the box. And all this, they learn in art class." 

Ty Cook

Sixth—Eighth Grade Science Teacher in North Georgia

"My wish for this upcoming school year is for teachers and students to have a more ‘normal' year and to get to do the things they love in the classroom that make learning engaging and fun. I want for my students this year to discover a love of learning and something they're passionate about and want to explore more. I wish parents knew how much we teachers appreciated their support, their understanding and their grace while we were all navigating teaching during a pandemic." 


Katherine Valdivia

Special Education Teacher in Topeka, Kan.

"I wish that people understood those with differences aren't weird or bad. Everyone has their own exceptionalities and some are more obvious than others. That child screaming in the store may not be a ‘brat.' They could be having sensory overload or have been triggered by a past trauma. We don't know. But we can be kind. Everyone is one choice or word away from making a difference in someone's life. So, make it a positive difference!"

Katie Wonderly

Elementary Music Teacher in Oklahoma City

"It feels so wonderful to be back in my happy place, able to sing, play, dance, create, laugh and learn with my favorite music makers! We are not in the clear yet, and there is still uncertainty about what lies ahead for us this year. My hope is that no matter what happens outside of our music room, each student enters this space knowing their voice matters, their health and safety are my priority and their unique and extraordinary selves are an essential part of our ensemble and our world!"

Brianna Johnson Pound

Second-Grade Teacher in Fulton County, Ga.

"My hope for this school year is that kids get to enjoy being at school! As a teacher, I sometimes get caught up in thinking about how things 'used to be' before the pandemic. I have to remember that if I have kids in my classroom reading, learning, laughing, spreading kindness, problem solving, and having fun—that's all I ever want and hope for. I have to tell myself to forget the rest and remember THAT is what's important!"

Jamaica Kirby

Pre-K Teacher in Brownsville, Tenn. 

"My wish for the school year is that I can be a light to the world. I want to change the lives of not only my students, but teachers everywhere. I want to be their light on uncertain days and encourage them to keep pushing through it all. The world may be changing around us, but for these students, we can change their world!"

Andrea S. Guzmán

First-Grade Teacher in Puerto Rico

"I am beyond excited to see my students face-to-face this year. I hope for this year to be full of amazing memories and for the kids to have fun while learning. This is going to be an awesome school year. To parents: know we are in this together and we will be working hand by hand to make this school year incredible for your children."

Anna Wiles

Elementary School Music Teacher in Nashville, Tenn.

"This year, I hope that the music room is a place where my students experience joy with one another. Kiddos across the whole country have been through a lot in the past couple years. I believe the music room is a place that can provide mental and emotional healing. I hope that my classroom is a place that students learn through play, make connections with one another and feel successful and proud."

Molly Maloy

Fifth-Grade Teacher in San Diego, Calif.

"I have so many hopes and wishes for this school year! After an unpredictable last couple school years, my wish for my students this year is that they feel safe and at ease in our classroom. I hope they develop or expand on a love of learning and find joy in all the exciting things we will be doing this year! I hope they look forward to coming to school each day and experience happiness and laughter with the people and activities that are a part of our classroom. I'm so excited to build a strong classroom community with my amazing new students! I can't wait to meet them!"

Ashley Johnson

Fourth-Grade Teacher in Indianapolis

"I wish that people knew how challenging it is to teach during these times. We try our best to give our kids the best education we can with all the previous and current COVID protocols that put our kids more behind than they already were. I wish for more understanding and appreciation for teachers."

Traneisha Sanford

First-Grade Teacher in Georgia

"My wish for my students during the 2021-2022 school year is to always be determined on what you want and work hard to reach your goals. If you have courage and determination, no one can stop you from being the best you that you aspire to be! Wishing all teachers and students a safe, memorable and productive school year!"

Greg Smedley-Warren

Kindergarten Teacher in Nashville, Tenn. 

"I wish people understood how dedicated, passionate and hardworking teachers are. And I wish people could see the incredible things happening in our classrooms every single day. And I wish people appreciated and respected us for the life changing work we do."

Morgan Shine

Second-Grade Teacher in Southern California

"My wish for the school year is for every child to walk out of my class feeling more knowledgeable, more capable and more loved." 

For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov. To plan your vaccine, head to NBC's Plan Your Vaccine site at PlanYourVaccine.com.