Saturday, May 6, 2023

Appreciating Teachers

Teaching is a tough vocation. People go into teaching (and stay in teaching), because they have a passion for watching minds grow, they are filled with optimism, and they hope to make a difference. But many people leave teaching because of the workload:  limited planning periods, state and district curricular standards and requirements, stacks of papers to grade, emails and phone calls to parents, standardized testing, creative problem solving and managing a room full of different individuals and emotions. In fact, researchers have noted that teachers make about 1,500 decisions a day (which breaks down to about 4 per minute in the typical classroom).

No wonder we come home tired! And, not surprising that many people leave the profession. Especially in the last few years after the educational demands of remote and hybrid teaching during Covid.

After 30+ years of teaching in at least 6 different schools (both public and independent), I abide by the fact that teachers are some of the hardest working people I know. We're certainly not in it to make our millions, but the dedication I have seen in so many colleagues is astounding. Even on our hard days (weeks, months, or years), we still go back... knowing it doesn't get any easier as the challenges change daily. Additionally, they change over time as new situations (like the integration and expansion of technology both in our classrooms and society) change up the challenges. No two days are ever alike.

For you teachers out there...

This year, it came with a bit of confusion. Teacher Appreciation Day is always the first Tuesday in May--this year, May 2nd. Since 1984, Teacher Appreciation Week annually falls on the first full week of May starting on Sunday--so May 8-12th this year (or May 7-13th, depending on how you look at it). Take for instance President Biden's 2023 Executive Order that he issued, proclaiming the week to be May 7-13, 2023. (This, by the way is a good read, if you haven't read it yet.)

Whether you celebrated Teacher's Appreciation Day or Teacher's Appreciation Week, I hope you feel appreciated. Honored. Celebrated. Important. We do a hard job... and we make it look easy. (And, I chuckle at the things we have to say daily that most people have probably never uttered.) Take time to celebrate you, my teacher friends!  Even better...celebrate with your own teacher friends and toast each other!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week.

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