Monday, 6 May 2013

It's Teacher Appreciation Week!

Be honest, how often have you felt truly appreciated? I have been teaching for 8 years now, and I can honestly say...teaching can be a pretty thankless job! Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but I can probably count on my hands the number of times I have been told, "Thank you" by one of my students. This likely has to do with the fact that I teach teenagers, so let's face it, the world revolves around them and sometimes we are just along for the ride.

Needless to say, no matter how it looks in the moment, we are all making a difference in our students' lives. For most of them we are the only consistency in their lives, and though they may not realise it today, tomorrow, or even a year from now we are making an impact! You are there to smile and say good morning, you are there to stay into lunch hour when they need some extra help, you are there to help celebrate their birthday, you are there to coach them after school, and you are there at home planning for them and hoping that they are safe and sound until you see them again tomorrow.

Sadly, the only people who truly understand what we do are other teachers. Until you have stood in front of a classroom, and allowed each student a place in your heart, will you truly understand what it means to be a teacher. I strongly believe that teaching is not a job, it isn't even a profession, it becomes your way of life.

Be honest...

You've had to bite your tongue from disciplining random children in public?

Your spouse has told you to stop using your teacher voice at home?

You collect random junk because you can find a use for it in your classroom?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you are a true teacher at heart!

I would like to leave you with a personal story. I had a student during my second year of teaching. He came from a good family, but was just an angry individual, who put minimal work into anything he did, and questioned everything I did. Needless to say...he drove me crazy! I pushed him to be the best he could be, and he pushed me right back! Fortunately mom was incredibly supportive and we were in constant communication. Despite his demeanor, I requested that he stay in my homeroom for grade 9, just so I could keep that connection with him. He went on to a different school for high school, but mom continues to email me to this day. When he graduated at the top of his class a couple years later, mom demanded that I come visit. They sat me down and told me that when they think back I was the one who turned their son around and got him on the right path. I figured my old student would be embarrassed about his mom inviting me over, but when I got up to leave he hugged me... and thanked me! WOW, it was five years in the making, but I got my thank you, and let me tell you it was worth it! Currently that student, who was barely passing his classes in junior high, is studying engineering at university!

This goes to show you, even when you have those days that make you feel like giving up, you are making a difference, and hopefully one day down the road a past student will come back to thank you!

So today, I would like to give a shout out to all the teachers out there, you are all amazing, and you are very much appreciated! Those countless hours you spend outside the classroom are appreciated, those amazing activities you create are appreciated, and everything you do for the betterment of your students is appreciated! Keep up the great work!

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. TpT is throwing a 2 day sale. Save up to 28% on some amazing resources to help you do, what you do best...TEACH!

Graphic courtesy of Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs

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