Friday, May 06, 2022

Appreciate It While It's Here

 I didn't want to get out of this week without appreciating teachers, since this has been Teacher Appreciation Week and all. I slid past Teacher Appreciation Day, which was celebrated on Tuesday. A lot of people would like us to set aside the first Tuesday of the first full week of May to recognize the contributions of educators across this great land of ours. Here are some of the suggestions a web site made about how to show our collective gratitude: 

  • Refill their supplies. Many teachers stock their classrooms with the supplies they need to effectively teach.
  • Write a letter showing your support. Your words may encourage a teacher to continue making a difference in a child’s life.
  • Ask them what they need the most. Sometimes just being asked is the most important part.
  • Volunteer in your schools. Every day, schools rely on parent support for many programs to succeed.

Seems easy enough. Drop off a couple boxes of tissue. Write a nice note thanking your child's teacher for encouraging and showing them the way toward eventually being passed along to yet another teacher in a seemingly endless stream of teachers. Oh yes ladies, gentlemen, and dreamers of all ages. Walking back down that path that takes you to those first days of preschool or kindergarten all the way to the professor in graduate school who gave your thesis a once over can be a heady experience. 

And every one of them could probably use a couple of boxes of tissue. 

And crayons. There are never enough crayons. 

But here's the thing: I wonder how far outside this little bubble in which I work if Teacher Appreciation Day, Week or Mid-Afternoon is really a thing. The setting in which I live does not allow me much perspective. I am completely aware of how companies market to me, seeing as how I clicked a box once upon a time that made me a self-described educator. I receive all kinds of offers for services and products that would further my career. Those and a couple boxes of tissue won't get me very far, but they do make me feel appreciated. 

Especially in a world that seems to undervalue its teachers. Every one of us has a dozen or more people in their lives who stopped and took the time to help us learn. Writing them a nice supportive note in recognition of all that they have done. It can get awfully lonely and discouraging sometimes, trapped in this bubble. 

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