Regina principal Christopher Keyes asking for stories of inspiring teachers

Regina Principal Christopher Keyes is collecting stories of inspiring teachers because he thinks teachers are rarely acknowledged for the impact they have on students.

'It's really important for teachers to have some way of being acknowledged,' says Keyes

Christopher Keyes is the principal of George Lee School in Regina. (Coreen Larson/CBC)

Christopher Keyes has been teaching for 25 years. Over that time he has seen a lot of great teachers. 

"Everyday I walk into schools and I see amazing things happening. I see people working so hard and kids getting so much value. I think it's really important for teachers to have some way of being acknowledged," said Keyes. 

Keyes decided he had to do something so he launched a YouTube project where he is asking people to submit short videos talking about a teacher who inspired them. 

"Teachers know they are doing great things, but they don't have often hear it, and when you do it's an amazing experience," explained Keyes. 

Teachers know they are doing great things, but they don't often hear it, and when you do it's an amazing experience.- Christopher Keyes 

The principal of George Lee School in Regina said the genesis for this project was a phone call he received late one night this fall. 

"A parent of one of my former students called and told me that her daughter and friends were talking about their school experience and they said I was their favourite person. She just thought I should know that," recounted Keyes. 

Keyes is not without his own role models. He said the teacher who had the most impact on him was Jim Olesen, his social studies teacher at Sheldon Williams Collegiate.

"I walked in thinking I knew everything and Jim, in his way, taught me that maybe I didn't know everything," said Keyes. He added that Olesen helped challenge his assumptions.

Keyes is asking people to submit videos less than a minute long. He'll post it to his YouTube channel and then attempt to contact the featured teacher and send them a link. 

He said there is a simple formula:

  1. Start by identifying the teacher.
  2. Say why that person was influential to you.
  3. End by saying thank-you. 

If you have a video you'd like to submit e-mail christopher.keyes@mac.com. 

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