MIAMI - It's a tough job and often times educators tell us they don't feel seen or heard. As part of a national effort, celebrities are taking part in an event called Celebrity Substitute and raising awareness about our amazing educators.
Actor and musician James Maslow recently took over the classrooms at Miami Coral Park Senior High and he was a big hit with the students.
"A lot of people know me from Big Time Rush, originally the TV show and the band. Now just the band. I've done quite a bit of film and TV outside of that," said Maslow.
Educator Nicholas Ferroni started the Celebrity Substitute program. He says the celebrities highlight how much teachers do on a regular basis and the sacrifices they make to educate our youth.
"I currently work three jobs. You can't call teaching a career if you have to work other jobs to do a career. Teaching is the only profession where we have to beg for supplies online or buy your own supplies. I'll be honest, you can't claim to care about children and not support paying resources to people who are with the largest number of children. If we don't support teachers then we are not supporting students," said Ferroni.
Maslow says being a teacher for the day was challenging and he has a new respect for the work that educators do.
"I've always felt that teachers are underrepresented and certainly underpaid. But actually being in that environment, was a side that I never truly experienced and it just reinforced that. It is such a difficult task. It's wild to me that this isn't a larger topic and a more pressing issue. Thinking about educating our youth, it's literally the future of this country. The future of the global economy and the world. For some reason, it feels like it's last on the list if it's even on the list. So it's very frustrating. I have major empathy for teachers," said Maslow.
As part of the day, Maslow took over theater teacher Leia Cole's class. She said she's grateful for this program because it brings awareness to the job educators do and their investment in youth. She said now, more than ever educators need our support
"I was a kid once and teachers saved me. So I want to make sure that someone is here to save these kids. So that's what I'm trying to do and despite the challenges we face, I keep showing up every day for them," said Cole.
Cole says teaching is truly a labor of love.
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