Opinion
Education Opinion

Thank A Teacher

By LeaderTalk Contributor — May 05, 2009 1 min read

Remember the bumper sticker that read,

“IF YOU CAN READ THIS, THANK A TEACHER.”?

Well, these days the bumper sticker should say, “If you can read this, and tie your shoes, tell time, get along with others, solve problems, understand others’ points of view, respect yourself, respect others, perform math calculations, make change for a dollar, write a five paragraph persuasive essay, compare and contrast, synthesize, hypothesize, and spell ‘hypothesize’ correctly, then you should THANK A TEACHER!”

Teaching is harder and more complicated than ever, and the pressure on today’s teachers is huge. Teachers are expected to teach, assess, model, and even parent their students. Teachers are being held accountable for all facets of a child’s education. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make teaching one of the hardest and most important jobs out there. I have often said that a school is only as good as the teacher your child has that year. In other words, your child can go to the world’s greatest school with the most Blue Ribbons earned, but if your child has a poor to mediocre teacher, the awards will mean nothing to you.

We often use this LeaderTalk blog to write our feelings regarding teachers and teaching. These posts are occasionally critical of teachers, or at least perceived as critical. I have done this myself (Here). However, it’s the teachers who make the most difference in the students’ lives. It’s the teachers who have the greatest impact on today’s students, and it’s the teachers who have the power to make the most change in schools.

So, since we are in the middle of “Teacher Appreciation Week,” take a moment to remember a teacher who made a difference in your life, and try to appreciate the important role teachers play in our society.

Please thank a teacher some time this week.

Dave Sherman is the principal of South Park Elementary School in Deerfield, Illinois.

The opinions expressed in LeaderTalk are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.