"Once in a while I'll get a student who comes back after eighth grade and is like 'Mrs. Ervin thank you so much. I'm doing so well in high school.'... It makes me think, OK, this is the job that I wanted to do," said Ervin.
In a time of teacher strikes, budget cuts, and school funding changes, both teachers agree things need to change. Thomas and Ervin admit to purchasing supplies for their classroom, and know many teachers who've had done the same.
But, Thomas says she makes sure all her students know how important they are to the future.
"I tell my students. Look I'm gonna get old one day...You're gonna have to do your job well so that you can help me when I can't do it anymore," said Thomas.
While May 8 is teacher appreciation day, the National Parent Teacher Association made the first week of May National Teacher Appreciation Week. So, go out and remember "Thank You" goes a long way.