Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Take a moment for the Teachers in your life

Before I decided to "just be a mom" I was "just a teacher". I taught for 9 years...I think. Several grades...fourth, third, and ended with a couple years in first grade. I know, most people transfer up to older grades in their teaching career...enjoying the more independent learner. But me, I moved down the ladder to the excited little learners who showed more growth in a year than a dandeloin in the first weeks of spring.

As a teacher I participated in many Teacher Appreication weeks. I celebrated many holidays with my classes. And until I became a parent did I realize the fast pace life that families lead. To take time out during the busy holiday season to think of the person that spends almost 8 hours a day with your child is tough. I have done last minute thank yous already to Charley's wonderful preschool teachers and have regretted not taking more time in that moment.

Back when I was a teacher I always was a little unsettled when Christmas came and went and there wasn't even a note to say Happy Holidays. Teachers think of their students as family and it always hit me during that time of year how teachers are often forgotten.

It is Teacher Appreciation week. Take a moment and jot your child's teacher a note. You don't have to go spend a bunch of money or buy some stinky candle or lotion. Instead, take a moment and write them a note that tells something you appreciate about the job they are doing for your little one. Share a moment that stands out to you.  BE SPECIFIC.  Give them a moment of recognition. To a teacher, a gift certificate to Starbucks, is delightful. But a note from a student or parent, that can be placed in a special folder or box...and pulled out on a tough day is priceless.

Teachers put in extra hours cutting out creative shaped construction paper to make learning fun. They spend extra hours planning lessons that go above and beyond the typical lesson presented in the math instruction manual. They spend hours reading your child's work and taking time to write feedback and praise. Teachers run around all day putting out playground fires that errupt among these little beings that have so much to say with little time to process the proper way to share their feelings. Teachers spend their lunch hours returning emails and calling parents back. Teachers dust their own rooms, tear down bulletin boards, and when they move classrooms..it is all done on their watch and with their muscles. Teachers work together to share and implement teaching techniques that will better meet your child's needs while dealing with issues that weren't even around when we were growing up. Teachers give hugs, pats on the back, offer advice, and a listening ear. Teachers often hear little things about your family that you don't realize your child is aware of. Teachers advocate for you child whether they need a little extra challenge or a little extra help.

Teachers spend almost 40 hours a week with your child. Take a moment to jot them a note of appreciation this week...even if it is on a post it note, slapped in their assignment notebook. An email works. But tell them, even if there are things that are bugging you, what impact they are having on your child. Team up with them. Get to know them. They put in the time. They put in an effort that requires an energy that must be neverending. They are on stage each day making learning fun, exciting, and entrancing. Teaching your children that learning is a life long gift that they are in control of. And your child's education can be stronger if you take the time to know their teacher.

Take a moment and thank a teacher...or a daycare worker...give a little love and it will come right back at you or your child :) Don't let your child's teacher feel unappreciated, underpayed, or overworked. Give them a boost that makes them remember that all their hard work is worth it - because they know your child is worth it.


Shell said...

Awesome post! Teachers are fabulous. (not just saying that because I used to be one)

I can still remember some of the notes tha I got thanking me. Those meant so much.

I was trying to write notes to my boys' teachers last night, to go along with their presents...and I feel like I failed miserably. I tried, though. Bear's teacher is the most amazing woman and I thank God that he was blessed to have her.

Sarah loves it all said...

I'm so thankful for the teachers that were good to me. They make all the difference! I have to say that the giant backpack on that little guy is adorable.

Anonymous said...

As a middle school teacher I/we rarely get nice notes and very few Christmas gifts...you're sooo right about that Starbucks gift card. But, a note with a genuine thank you is the best!


Danifred said...

What a fabulous post!!! As a former/ semi-current educator, I couldn't have said it better myself!


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