Teachers are the world’s greatest unsung heroes, so to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, we asked students to tell us what makes their favorite teacher a superhero. After reading the nomination story for Katelyn Caudle—an English teacher from Mustang, Oklahoma—we knew she certainly fit the cape.
Get to know the superhero—in her own words:
Special power: Making kids feel confident, welcome, and secure in my learning environment.
Origin story: I always loved school, and reading always felt like breathing to me. I was born into a family of educators, and I have long known the value of education. When I was younger, I dreamed of a career that would make the world better. Teaching was a natural fit. The best way for me to make the world a better place is by teaching teenagers. Every kid is just one caring adult away from being a success story. If I can be that caring adult, while giving them a first-class English education, I have made the world a better place one kid at a time.
Kryptonite: Starbucks! Being a teacher in Oklahoma, I have to work multiple jobs; Starbucks keeps me going on late work nights.
Here’s what Ms. Caudle’s student, Kailee H., had to say in her nomination story:
Ms. Caudle deserves this teacher appreciation award more than anyone I know. She works 3 jobs so that she can do what she needs because Oklahoma teachers don’t make a lot of money. It’s obvious she’s not a teacher for the money. She’s a teacher because that’s what she was meant to be, I truly believe that. She goes out of her way to make sure her students are taken care of. She doesn’t have any children of her own (other than her dog, Hank, who might as well be her kid) but she loves us all as if we were hers no matter how much we probably get on her nerves sometimes.
Ms. Caudle stands with us and for us when we go through tough times at school and at home without hesitation. She is the strongest person I have ever met and has been through so much yet she still carries our burdens so that we don’t have to do it alone. Not only does she teach us English, she teaches us life.
Ms. Caudle has shown us that we aren’t alone. She takes the time to learn every single one of us like we’re her best friend and she holds us to our commitments. She celebrates with us when we get an A on that math test that we worked really hard on, and she cries with us when our home life isn’t going right. Ms. Caudle is someone that the students of Mustang High School know they can go to for anything. Her classroom is a safe place for many of us throughout our 4 years in this school and even after—her former students visit from college all the time. When I walked in to Ms. Caudle’s class in August of 2016, I was a mess. Throughout the school year, she helped me through every little situation even if she was going through stuff too or even if I was way overreacting. I can honestly say that I have never met a better or more hardworking teacher than Ms. Caudle. She deserves so much more than her students could ever give her.
To thank Katelyn for her service, we rewarded her with a $1,000 school donation as well as a trip to New York City. And to thank all teachers, we’re lighting the Empire State Building in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. See it shine in EF’s signature pink on Friday, May 11. After all, superhero teachers deserve a super-large spotlight.