Thursday, May 9, 2013

Don't Forget Teacher Appreciation Week!

Oh, how I love good teachers! This week, May 6th- 10th is Teacher Appreciation Week. Working in schools, I know how much teachers are under-appreciated, overworked, underpaid, and stressed.  In at-risk, low-income areas, I would guess that this is even more true, as teachers constantly deal with low parent involvement (and even parents with mental health, substance abuse, and anger issues), few resources, more extreme behavior problems, and so many other barriers to teaching and learning. 

Many teachers work eight hour days with barely 10 minutes for a potty break. They can't run a quick errand during the day or enjoy a leisurely lunch.  They are responsible for a class full of children - which is often about 30 moving bodies.  So, they have to be on their toes and at their best 100% of the time. Teachers I know often don't even call in sick when they need to for fear of leaving their children without rigorous instruction for a day.  Because without rigorous instruction, those 30 kiddos might not perform tip-top on the high-stakes state assessments, which have become the ultimate measure of teacher effectiveness (and don't get me started on that topic).  And, did I say they work 8 hour days?  I lied.  Many work 10 or 12 hour days, working on lesson plans, grading papers, completing mandatory paperwork, etc.  For those reasons, and many more, I always say that I would never ever want to be a teacher.  And, God bless those masochistic souls that dedicate their lives to teaching other peoples children. They deserve at least a week of appreciation. 

Jr. and I created these little bread loaves for his teachers.  We got the free printables from How Does She.  Jr. was so excited to give them to his teachers and practice his new favorite phrase, "Thank you!" (ok, it's still right behind his forever favorite phrase, "NO!").  He ran into daycare today carrying the bag full of bread and yelled, "Thank you, Shelly! Thank you, Shelly!"  He jumped into Ms. Shelly's arms, got his morning kisses and tickles, and dismissively said, "Bye-bye, Daddy."  We feel so blessed that Jr. loves his teachers and feels loved by them.  For any working mom, this is an answer to prayer.  We struggle so much with having to leave him at daycare during the day, but God has been sweet to us by reassuring us often that his caregivers are loving and nurturing.

Today, do something nice for your child's teachers, even if it is just telling them how much you appreciate their love and hard work.  And, best of all, pray for your child's teachers today!  Pray for discernment, energy, effectiveness in teaching, patience, and love for your child. 

Thank you teachers!  Keep it up, summer is near!

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