My husband and I met as teachers. In many ways, we grew into adulthood together, in those first years teaching. Our school, now established in the Washington, DC area, was a startup. That meant we did everything from design t-shirts for the school teams, to run student government, to directing the school plays. Oh, and teaching in the classroom. We did that, too. Like most teachers, we did more in a day than many people do in a week! Grading papers at 4am, and staying well into the evening to help students was the norm. Maybe the world didn't appreciate what we were doing, but our students (and their parents) did. And that was enough.
It has now been many years since we were in the classroom. But we are seeing teaching in a whole new light. Now our own kids have teachers. Wonderful teachers who pour their souls into making lessons for the class, into meticulously cutting images from magazines and putting our children's work into portfolios. We are so lucky. Unlike us, our kids' teachers have been in the profession for many years.
How do we say thank you?
How to thank these people who are educating our little ones? Nothing is enough! But we have to do something, to show gratitude. Here are just a few of the ideas and blog posts I have found and enjoy for celebrating our teachers this Teacher Appreciation Week.
1. Visit the Room Mom is my go-to for ideas. The emergency kit was a hit last year!
2. Organize a potluck where parents bring in food for the teachers to enjoy. Use Perfect Potluck to make it super simple.
3. Write a note. Okay, I think everyone should write a note, no matter what else we do. Ask your child to list the reasons s/he loves the teacher. Kids always amaze and I still have notes that my students wrote me fifteen years ago.
We are getting better at celebrating teachers and their craft. And yet, it can be a thankless job many days. Much like being a parent. The reward is in the long term, even when you have a hard day. This week, I am reaching out to some of my past teachers, too. It's never too late.