education

Local Teacher Celebrates Classroom and Life Lessons

Teaching is more than a profession for Andrew Loh. It's a calling.

“I decided to get into education because of the importance my parents placed on education when I was a kid. Both of my parents were refugees at the time of the Vietnam War,” Loh said. “Growing up in American society, I knew that education was my ticket to opportunity.”

Loh is a teacher at Uplift Heights Secondary in West Dallas as part of the Teach for America DFW. He is hoping to provide that same opportunity for his students with a focus on education equity.

Teach for America is a program that finds, develops and supports a diverse network of leaders dedicated to expanding access and opportunity for children. Since 2009, the national organization has been in North Texas serving more than 400,000 students and trained more than 1,700 teachers.

“I didn’t think of how important the role of a teacher was. When things first started shutting down [during the pandemic], I was just so focused on society and the ways that we couldn’t connect anymore. Once I reflected and realized the way that teachers really show up for kids and their families, it’s so important for us to keep getting energized from our relationship with kids,” Loh said.

Loh said this year’s National Teacher Appreciation Week meant so much more, seeing the students and families showing their appreciation for all they do.

“The job does not leave you. It’s not necessarily just pressure, but this sense that I can always be doing more for my kids because they deserve the best and quality education,” Loh said.

The pandemic has made providing that quality a difficult task. Loh said he had to get more creative than ever before.

“We had to create these engaging experiences. Even now, some of my kids aren’t in the classroom. We have to keep them engaged and meet them where they are,” Loh said.

To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, Teach For America DFW announced their initiative Three Cheers for Teachers. Gifts, donations and meals of gratitude were provided for 400 local, public school teachers from local restaurants.

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