Before I was a mom I was a teacher.
I spent my days teaching children how to read and write, spell their names and add numbers.
It was a hard and stressful job, but I loved it. Ask any teacher and they will probably tell you the same thing. They love their job, despite and because of the other “stuff”.
By other stuff, I mean the stuff that no one sees. It’s the endless hours of preparation put in for projects during the week. The cutting out of patterns, prepping glue bottles to make sure they aren’t clogged, and checking to make sure markers still write. It’s the coming in before and staying after school to make copies and clean desks. It’s the hours spent at home grading papers and tests, giving feedback and scoring rubrics.
It’s figuring out how to make copies, use the bathroom and eat lunch all in 20 minutes because they had a parent who wanted to meet, so they squeezed them in during their lunch hour. It’s making an extra lunch, bringing it to school, and discreetly sneaking it into a lunchbox, for that one student who only has an apple in his lunch everyday. It’s having a few extra changes of clothes available, that they purchased themselves, just in case a student needs them.
It’s spending countless hours trying to figure out a fun way to teach long division (is there a fun way?). It’s picking just the right books and encouraging that one shy student to share her thoughts. It’s sometimes having to make sad and upsetting phone calls. It’s making sure each and every child in their care feels safe and loved.
Teachers spend hours during the day with your child. They teach them to read and write. They encourage them to take chances and try harder. They don’t get “summers off”, I assure you.
This other “stuff” is what no one sees or hears about, but what teachers do day in and day out, without a second thought. Oftentimes without thanks or gratitude.
Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week.
I ask you to show your teachers a little appreciation.
Let them know that you see what they do. Believe me, a card with some heartfelt words can go a long way to making someone feel special.