He looked back on his best school day memory and shared how he's helping schools in his area.
"Teachers are working so hard, so hard, to educate our youth," Dwight Howard said.
When our public schools are underfunded, teachers and students pay the price. Teachers spend an average of $500 out of pocket each year on projects, supplies, trips and tools because they know students deserve to see adults investing in their educational experiences.
We need to get behind our teachers-in-need, and access the power and potential of online communities (organized via flash funding/crowdsourcing initiatives and otherwise) to get stuff done.
Ms. Napolitano, my daughter's fourth-grade science teacher, could have simply explained "force equals mass times acceleration" on a whiteboard. Instead, she had her students make marshmallow catapults and discover Newton's first law for themselves -- to the profound chagrin of the kids who missed that particular class.
All children, regardless of geography or circumstance, should have equal opportunity to get the best education possible -- and a critical part of that is having the tools and resources that enable learning.
A few years back, a friend introduced me to DonorsChoose.org. Living in California, I was excited to learn that I could choose a teacher and classroom project from my home state, and could help a West Virginia teacher get what they needed for their classroom. It gave me the chance to "pay it forward."
My favorite teachers changed its trajectory. Teachers are unsung heroes. They breathe life into young minds and introduce them to worlds and disciplines and practices they'd never know otherwise.
When I picked up a trumpet for the first time, it seemed as if I was picking up shiny metal tubes molded together, but in actuality I was picking up the gateway to my future. I bonded with my teachers who pushed me beyond self-imposed limits and I learned lessons that shaped the woman I am today.
It's clear to me that one great teacher can be a catalyst -- with the unique ability to encourage and inspire hundreds of students over their careers. Teachers are the most important members of the American workforce, yet they certainly aren't treated that way.