Tis a puzzlement: The Day of the Teacher was last week, on the third of May. Or maybe it's really on the ninth, when our state's superintendent of education issued a press release honoring all of us who make our living as educators. It might be the thirteenth, since that's when our principal will be having us all into the staff room for lunch. Or maybe it's today, when a number of different calendars suggest that we observe "Teacher Appreciation Day." Whatever the date, it's nice to get all this attention, and this time it's not necessarily for destroying our country's economy.
The truth is, I get plenty of appreciation on my job. The fact that most of it comes from kids aged five to eleven doesn't diminish it. Would I like it if their parents remembered to drop by and thank us for the work we do? Sure I would. I would love to have the moms and dads of some of the real hard cases drop by and give us a thumbs-up now and again, but I know that's not realistic. They're busy with their own struggles, most of which contribute in some measure to the challenges faced by their children. Just like it's easy to point a finger at one bad teacher, it's easy to lump parents into categories that make their absence from their child's education understandable.
I don't know their struggle. They don't know mine. The connection we have is the kid having trouble sitting in his chair. Or winning the science fair. Or coming to school on time after weeks of being just a little bit late. I'm a parent, too. I can appreciate that.