When asked why they teach, educators often point to their students. So, when East Side Elementary School first grader Siddhant Ajit Mahapatra stepped on to the McEachern High School stage to tell teachers across Cobb County what inspires him, they listened.
Wearing an American flag-themed tie, Siddhant told the Cobb County School District teachers that he looks to the Pledge of Allegiance for inspiration. He asked the teachers to stand and join him in reciting the Pledge. They did. Following Siddhant’s KidTalk-winning speech, the teachers reacted on social media.
One teacher said, “Be still, my heart! What an inspiration! We were all crying in the front row!”
Another said, “This is why we do it, Cobb! This is why we do it!”
The annual kickoff event held on July 27 was broadcast to the entire school district from McEachern High School. During the event, teachers also heard from one of their own—Dyanna Motes, Kemp Elementary School. Cobb’s TeacherTalk winner took the stage to inspire her fellow educators with a personal story about the teacher who had inspired her.
“With a little bit of effort and a growth mindset, anything is possible,” Motes told the thousands of educators listening.
Other speakers praised Cobb’s teachers.
“With the best teachers, everything else falls into place,” Chief Academic Officer Jennifer Lawson said.
Superintendent Chris Ragsdale shared his appreciation for teachers and reminded the Cobb educators that they help students every single day. The students know it and the test data shows it.
“We can be extremely proud of what we have in Cobb County,” Superintendent Ragsdale told the teachers. “Thank you for what you do. You have a tremendous impact on our mission of student success. Have a great year! I know it is going to be successful.”