It’s that time of year again…the week in May when we pause for a moment in order to thank the teachers in our lives. In schools across America you might find…free donuts and coffee in the lunch room, a luncheon organized by the PTO, thank you cards made by and delivered to a child's teacher, or gift cards ...all of these given thoughtfully in order to recognize our teachers. However, although all of these things are really nice ways to express our thanks, having taught in the classroom for many years, I know that what most teachers really want are things that can’t be bought:
Conversations with and notes from students that help them to see their efforts are not in vain (this is why we love former students to stop in or write an email telling us about what they’re doing).
Conversations with and notes from parents recognizing the effort that has gone into supporting their children to learn new content, make new friends, be informed citizens, and become life-long learners. (It would also be great to have those parents share their thoughts with administrators and school board members too if they were so inclined!)
Conversations with and notes from administrators recognizing both the challenges and meaningfulness of the teaching profession. (Taking the time to really notice small things that teachers do can go a long way in showing support.)
So, to the many wonderful teachers that I have crossed paths with over the years ...whether teaching alongside you, presenting workshops, or providing instructional coaching... I want to take a moment to say:
I see you … spending countless hours outside of the classroom (some of which may or may not be on Pinterest) creating awesome lessons that provide engaging learning opportunities for your students.
I see you … sharing your hard earned money to provide classroom supplies (such as pencils, paper, snacks, tissues, and whatever else it takes to make learning fun).
I see you … giving up your few minutes of a much needed quiet lunch time in order to build a relationship with a student that really needs a little extra TLC at the moment.
I see you … persevering to find and implement the intervention that might work best for a struggling student.
I hear you … encouraging your students with a kind word or a heartfelt laugh together.
I hear you … building positive learning communities through carefully planned read alouds, discussions, and interactive learning structures.
We thank you … for choosing a challenging, yet meaningful profession which impacts the world in which we live, and we want you to know that you are truly appreciated each and every day!