Have You Thanked A Teacher Lately?


Have You Thanked A Teacher Lately?Whatever you’re doing, please stop for a moment and thank a teacher. Whether it’s your child’s current teacher, a favorite from the past, or even one of your own that you still look back on fondly.

I speak from experience when I say that on a good day, teaching is TOUGH.

Most people go into teaching because they enjoy working with children and believe in education. On a good day, any teacher knows that it is never quite as simple as that. Teaching is, perhaps, one of the most thankless professions. You know how thankless parenthood can feel at times? Picture a classroom full of 25-30 young ones or 100+ middle-high school students. Add 1-2 parents per child, and possibly a few grandparents for each of those children. Throw in some co-workers, administrators, and politicians. On any given day, that’s who teachers are working with, and I guarantee you, the majority of those encounters aren’t gracious.

It’s also one of those professions where everyone thinks they have an opinion because they, too, went to school. I don’t walk into the dentist’s office and tell him how to fix my teeth. I don’t take the car to the mechanic and tell them they’re doing it all wrong. I don’t tell the vet how to care for my pets, the accountant how best to file my taxes, etc. The fact that you went to school for so much of your life, doesn’t qualify you to be a teacher. Yes, by all means collaborate with your teacher regarding your child, but place some faith in their expertise.

On a good day, teaching is tough.

Teachers are expected to be “on” all the time. There’s no feeling sad, sitting behind a computer to catch up on emails if they aren’t feeling 100%, walking out of the room for a 10-minute breather or even to go to the bathroom. When they are with their class, they are WITH their class.

They are responsible for the well-being of the children. In an emergency situation, they’re taught to protect the kids first, even if it means being the one to run into the hallway to check the bathrooms when an intruder is in the building.

On a good day, teaching is tough.

They are expected to meet the needs of every child in their classroom. Depending on the grade level and school, those needs are vast — socially, emotionally, and academically.

They are the ones who show up to teach every day and they are the ones who offer a safe place for the children who might not have one at home.

They are the ones exposed to every single germ a child brings into the classroom.

They are the ones cleaning up at the end of the day, prepping the room every morning, putting a smile on their face no matter what.

They’re constantly thinking of their students as if they are their own children. The worry for their well-being doesn’t end with the daily school bell.

On a good day, teaching is tough.

Right now is not a good day.

This past year we saw teachers juggling virtual, in-person, hybrid, etc. with varied degrees of consistency and support.

This year, many teachers are saying it’s even worse, and they are only a few weeks in.

They are demoralized, defeated, deflated, exhausted, and scared.

Regardless of their personal beliefs, they are being asked to go above and beyond for children in a very tumultuous climate. They are being blamed for things beyond their control, have unrealistic expectations set upon them, contractual agreements are being broken, they are receiving threats, and quite frankly unable to do the job they signed on for.

Each day, they’re putting on brave faces and going out into their classrooms. They’re facing parents who have extremely different opinions on how things should be handled during a pandemic. They’re working under very inconsistent policies and mandates, some so varied that the school down the street from them may be doing things completely differently.

They’re receiving direct and indirect backlash from parents and administrators despite the fact that they aren’t the ones who have the power to change these things. Teachers without unions have been threatened, fearing for their job security on top of their health and safety concerns.

We need to be their voices. We need to offer them a bit more grace.

Teaching is hard on a good day. Most teachers haven’t seen a “normal” day in a very long time.

People who stick with teaching are those who truly want to be there. They are there for the kids. They aren’t there for any of this other stuff. Yet the other stuff is what monopolizes the majority of their day.

I can’t imagine still teaching in this current climate. It was hard enough on a good day.

Please thank a teacher today. We know they’ve heard the negatives; let yours be the voice of encouragement.


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