Flowers. Thank you cards. Hugs and kisses. Homemade presents to show how much we care.
Much like Mother’s and Father’s Days, Teacher Appreciation Week, although appreciated never goes far enough. Being a teacher is a complicated and challenging life choice that needs respect and recognition on an ongoing basis, acknowledging the time and effort given to the care.
The men and women who make this noble job their calling and career path, make a commitment to children as if they were their own often creating a challenging balance of caring for their “chosen” children and the ones they created.
Many times in their lives they will make choices to serve the greater good in quiet ways that don’t get recognition. Whether it is answering student emails until wee hours of the night or reading and assessing student work, providing excellent feedback to help each child grow, teachers spend a good amount of their personal lives making the academic lives of their students possible; there just isn’t enough time in any given school day to do what we do effectively.
The best teachers have systems that empower students to take control of the good majority of the learning, but even with those systems, they dedicate their lives to ensuring the success of children who often come them strangers and leave an indelible mark on who they are as human beings.
Teaching is a part of a person’s soul. Yes, we make mistakes and surely we right them as quickly as we realize them. We model behaviors for learning and take a vested interest in each child. We give and they change us as we change them.
Now as a school leader, I understand and deeply appreciate the work our team puts in. They come early. They stay late. They ask questions. They care. Every day I do my best to show them that I notice and that I care, that I appreciate and that I’m here to support them in any way I can, understanding all along the way that I can never adequately communicate the truth I know about the work they do.
So I’ll continue to write my short thank you emails or note cards and I won’t necessarily wait until the calendar tells me it’s time.
Educators, you are so valued and so important. The job we do together is matched by no other profession. In the classroom, you are the heroes and lead learners who are charged with inspiring the leaders and innovators of tomorrow, so please keep doing what you’re doing.
If we all could all take the time at least once a day to notice something that is happening, that is special and then not just notice, but mention and find the way that each educator on your team likes to be appreciated and then honor them in that way, then perhaps we can start to truly say that the quality of living in this career is improving.
So students, teachers, administrators and other school staff, don’t ever underestimate the power of a genuine thank you, on any day, they sustain educators through darker times and often remind us why we chose to give our lives to this profession.
Who do you want to give a shout out to this week and why? Please do so here
The opinions expressed in Work in Progress 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.