Did a teacher push you to keep going when you wanted to give up? Was it a teacher recommendation that sealed the deal for your acceptance to college? Or, maybe a teacher's enthusiasm for a subject ignited a passion that will become a life-long interest, and maybe even your career.

Teachers have the power to change the course of our lives. But it's not always easy. It's National Teacher Appreciation Week, and if there was ever a time when teacher's could use a little extra appreciation, this is it. Teachers have always had to be flexible, gritty, and dedicated, but the challenges of teaching during a pandemic have stretched teachers in new ways. Students have also had to rely on their teachers for more support than ever this year.

Roadtrip Nation, an organization dedicated to helping people find and forge their unique path in life, recently launched their Teachers Community Hub to shine a light on the amazing work teachers do and inspire current and future teachers to keep going. The video series pairs newer, struggling teachers with older more-seasoned educators who speak to them candidly about the highs and lows of a teaching career, and how they stay motivated when things get tough.

Read on for some highlights from the interviews with these remarkable teachers. And if you're looking for ways to show appreciation to the teachers who have made a difference in your life, don't miss this video, where real teachers tell what makes them feel most appreciated.

Rodney Robinson, 2019 Teacher of the Year, on how attending an HBCU helped him choose teaching as a career

2019 Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson laughing

2019 Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson on how attending HBCU Virginia State University inspired his teaching career.

photo cred: Roadtrip Nation

"I went to Virginia State University. And I'm always proud of Virginia State because it's a historically black college university. But what I needed when I graduated high school was culturally affirming education. Something that could show me who I was, what I could be, and to just build up my confidence. And so Virginia State gave me that. And so once I left there, and I went to teach and I said, I'm going to be that teacher. I'm gonna be the guy that every kid relies on, that every kid comes to if they need help, if they need anything. And so I was just going about that."

Watch the full video

Utah Teacher Michael Morem on all the roles a teacher plays

Man sanding a dresser with quote "We're not just teachers" next to him.

Utah Teacher Michael Morem on all the different hats teachers wear.

photo cred: Roadtrip Nation

"This is my eighth year teaching and I'm being challenged and stretched in ways that are certainly far from comfortable. We are not just teachers, we are project managers, event planners, accountants, data entry specialists, graphic designers, computer programmers, first responders, counselors, mediators.

Today's uncomfortable challenge was assisting a student who had a grand mal seizure in the middle of my class. Luckily, we were able to help the student and they should be okay. But the reality is after this incident, the teacher is then left to pick up the pieces and support the other students in class, academically and emotionally."

Watch the full video

Bryan Bassette, an Assistant Principle in Oakland, CA, on working with youth in the city where he grew up

Brian Bassette, Assistant Principle of Elmhurst Middle School in Oakland, CA smiling

Brian Bassette, Assistant Principle of Elmhurst Middle School in Oakland, CA, works with youth in the same city where he grew up.

photo cred: Roadtrip Nation

"Kids don't care what you know until they know that you care. I know what you're walking through to go home… I know what the experience is...Encouraging our kids that...the world is bigger than West Oakland, and there's a lot of opportunity out there for you. I have to understand who they are and what they need in order to help them be successful. If I can get a UC Berkeley degree. I'm thinking about all the other people and kids who I grew up with, who were just as smart, just as talented as me, but who had other issues, and who didn't get these opportunities, and what could have been for them."

Watch the full video

Tray Robinson, GSLEN 2020 Teacher of the Year, on what it's like to be a teacher

Tray Robinson, GSLEN 2020 Teacher of the Year, smiling

Tray Robinson, GSLEN 2020 Teacher of the Year, compares teaching to running an Iron Man

photo cred: Roadtrip Nation

"To teach is to run an iron man. You don't just sprint anymore, you go run 30 miles and then you're gonna swim. And you thought you was tired. You're not. You better have an energy gel because you don't get the chance to pee and you don't get to eat. Now swim. You get to the end of that swim - good job! You got a bike to ride."

Watch the full video here

Veteran teacher, Vera Ahiyya, on the importance of teacher's setting boundaries and making time for themselves.

Teacher and instragram influencer Vera Ahiyya smiling

Teacher Vera Ahiyya became an instagram sensation as @thetututeacher

photo cred: Roadtrip Nation

"Whenever I feel [like leaving teaching], I think...What is it about teaching that I love? What is it about teaching that keeps me excited? And then holding onto those things as I start to think about the negatives. When you come to the point where you're exhausted, it's about what can you lose without losing yourself? Can you leave right at the end of the school day, leave with your class? And if you can't, why can't you? Do as much as you can to be as best as you can, but you're a human being. And parents forget that sometimes, which makes it even harder, but we are human."

Watch the full video here

Trevor Boffone on how his students saved him during a tough time.

Trevor Boffone smiling

A video of Spanish Teacher Trevor Boffone and his student dancing went viral on Tik Tok

photo cred: Roadtrip Nation

"I kind of just fell into teaching and it started a bit rocky. My dad died on the first day of school. It was terrible and with teaching, you kind of have to check your baggage at the door right, and you can't bring it into the room. I felt like Voldemort and Harry Potter I had like, split myself into different places. And I really wasn't able to heal until my students helped me. My students saved me. They would dance or they would listen to this song. By just embracing those things, my students became more comfortable sharing with me and then they eventually invited me into the circle to actually create with them. And so now I feel like I'm in the right place. I still have those moments of doubt, but I really I feel like deep down I'm in the right place."

Watch the full video here

Hear more from these amazing educators and more inspiring teachers on Roadtrip Nation's Teachers Community Hub.

Trying to figure out what career path to follow? Take Roadtrip Nation's free online course to help you find your path.

Is there a teacher that made a difference in your life? Or are Interested in becoming a teacher yourself? Head to the College Confidential Forums to tell us about it, or speak to others in the teaching field!

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