As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, under difficult circumstances, a teacher made a huge difference in my life. All across New York teachers are making the same kind of difference in the lives of our children, every single day.

As parents, we all share the hope that our children’s education with help them reach their goals and live a successful life. As we start a new school year, let’s begin by thanking our teachers and principals for their hard work that is helping New York get better, record graduation rates, more kids in college, more kids learning what they need to compete. Let’s thank them for motivating our children to meet higher standards, overcome challenges and learn new things they could never learn before. Let’s thank them for inspiring our children to dream big and think for themselves.

As educators, we know there are many factors that shape our childrens’ lives when they enter school, but the thing we can do is to ensure that every moment they’re at school is as meaningful as possible. The classroom must be a place where students build knowledge, gain skills and experience the joy of learning.

Let’s also remember our jobs as parents is to partner with educators in this effort, providing the right support at home so our children can succeed in school. Let’s make this a great year for New York. Let’s make this a great year for your child, and let’s make this the year when all of us come together – parents, educators and community leaders – to make education our number one priority. Nothing is more important. Nothing holds out more promise for a child than a great education.

Watch Commissioner King’s Back to School Message Here