Sunday, May 3, 2015

Hey Everybody! It's Teacher Appreciation Week!

And because of that, I appreciate you!

You're taking the time to read a teaching blog. From this, we can assume that you have some interest in education, and also that you are likely a teacher. From this, we can also assume that you care about the state of education, and do things in your own time to reflect on your practice. You are quite likely a connected educator with teacher friends that you've never met in person. You rock!

I appreciate my coworkers - I know how late they stay. I have an idea of how early they get to school (I'm not one of those hour early teachers, so I'm just guessing!). I know how they go to bat for kids, how they agonize of students' struggles, and get excited when students show progress. I see how they deal with so many different parents, some helicopter, some indifferent, and manage, somehow, to be polite to them. My coworkers are amazing people.

I appreciate the teachers in the schools with unpleasant working conditions. Maybe the kids are coming to school completely unprepared, maybe they're lucky to be at school at all. Some of them are only there because it's the only real food they get during the day. It might be that the building is old, the supplies outdated, or you've got too many kids packed in the room. It may just be a small minded and dictatorial principal, the kind who can destroy a culture. Those teachers are still there, and one of the things they do is to show their students that there's more out there, that there are opportunities for them. These teachers broaden children's horizons. They make the world a better place.

I appreciate the teachers who work in idealized conditions. One part of growing up is realizing that even the people who "have it easy" have their own set of problems that are no fun to deal with. One of the best things these teachers can do is to show the kids who have everything going for them that others don't have it so easy. These teachers have opportunities to teach empathy, and they make our world a kinder place when they do. They are fantastic.

I appreciate the parents who teach their kids to the best of their ability. They may not do everything right, but when they take the time with their children, it makes learning so much easier.

This week, many teachers around the country will be getting little gifts (some big), free coffee, and flowers. I love working with my kids so much - even when they annoy the heck out of me! - that a thank you isn't necessary, but it is nice.

So thank you.

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