Teachers Must Always Be Appreciated
Not just one week out of the year
I was a classroom teacher for thirteen years before spending most of my career as a school administrator. Thirteen simultaneous years were also spent serving as a part-time professor while also serving as a school leader.
Teachers choose their profession for very concrete reasons. Certainly, seeking recognition is not one of them. Instead, teachers desire to positively impact the lives of children and youth by providing them with the best educational experience they can give. Teachers are also content experts and have a strong capacity to share their knowledge with their students. Most significantly, teachers share their hearts with their students and their families.
Parents, students, leaders within our society, and other individuals must do more than declare and demonstrate their gratitude to them one week out of the year. Exhibiting appreciation to teachers must be modeled continuously because they deserved to be respected and honored all of the time. This is especially important because they form the essential threads that establish the fabric of our global society.
Ten Hidden Things That Teachers Do
Teachers do more than plan lessons and stand in front of a classroom or sit before and computer screen delivering the highest quality and rigorous instruction for their students. They do more than assess student work and issue progress reports and grades. There is so much more that teachers regularly do that many individuals are unaware of.
Here are ten extremely positive things that teachers do in silence and obscurity out of love for their students.
- Concern for their students and families motivates teachers to help them in tangible ways. They are intuitively aware of needs within their families and they help them. It is not uncommon for teachers to use their money to buy groceries, clothes, and shoes for their families. Many are very instrumental in connecting parents to community resources to assist them with utility payments and health care.
- Many teachers have very strong relationships with the parents of their children. They maintain very open lines of communications with parents by making in-person or virtual home visits, making caring phone calls to them, and sending them notes. These communication gestures encourage and uplift struggling parents in desperate personal situations.
- Teachers keep a supply of necessities in their classrooms for students in need. They secretly give students socks and gloves on a cold winter day when they notice that they lack these items. They give students that they instinctively know could use snacks, packaged soup, and other foods to ensure that they will not be hungry over the weekend. They also quietly slip money to students whose pockets are empty during book fairs, special bake sales, and during other events.
- Teachers encourage students to have hope for the future. A lot of times teachers actively connect students to colleges by taking them and their parents on college tours and introducing them to higher education officials who can assist them. Teachers help students make these connections during their time on weekends, after school hours, and during summer breaks.
- A lot of teachers are more than instructors to students. Many are the mother, father, and grandparent image that students need. These teachers remain lifelong friends and mentors to these students as they remain a part of their families.
- A teacher can speak hope into the life of students and help them to believe that it is okay to dream because dreams can come true. Most importantly, teachers help students realize that the impossible can become possible with a good education and hard work.
- Teachers know their students well and advocate for them. When children and young people make mistakes at school, teachers have their back and become the person to stand up for them. Teachers may help ease a consequence or they will walk with a student when they receive a consequence for their error. Students know when their teacher believes in them and appreciate that reality.
- Teachers who look like their students are positive role models for them. They remain a source of motivation, encouragement, and pride for their students.
- Many teachers serve as a compass for their students. They help them make critical connections in life by instilling a sense of direction and purpose for them.
- Teachers help students navigate devastating life changes. Whether it is the death of a loved one or pet, personal trauma, or tragedy, they spend special moments with students by taking steps with them to help them heal. Students know that they can depend on their teachers.
The bottom line is that teachers care. Their caring gestures extend beyond the varied obligations associated with their job. Their actions affirm the reality that they are connected to their students and their families by their heart.
My Final Thought
Teacher Appreciation Week is a beautiful time of year to recognize teachers for who they are and what they mean to students. However, our gratitude to them must be eternal.
I have attached an article that I published that honors the work that teachers have been doing throughout the pandemic. The link is shown below.
Many Teachers Have Been Sending Positive Vibes In the Midst of the Global Pandemic
This is the ultimate reflection of family engagement.
Be sure to read it and reflect upon what teachers have always meant to you and your children. In doing so, I have the following challenge for you.
What are the ways the teachers that you have been affiliated with have given beyond their required professional responsibilities?
I invite you to add your response in the comment section below. Also, I invite you to honor teachers by sharing this story with others.
Here is my golden ticket that helps me accomplish my mission.
Dr. Deborah M. Vereen is a retired Teacher and School Administrator. Her website is www.Drdeborahmvereen.com and her YouTube Channel is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS1DPhBeA29UlybU9jzDkdQ.