Don’t Hate; Appreciate Teachers

It’s Teacher’s Appreciation Week. As a teacher, I’ll be the first to admit that not all teachers do jobs that are worthy of appreciation. This isn’t a fact that’s applicable only to this career, though; there are lawyers out there who need to be disbarred, dirty cops, and physicians who consult Dr. Google to diagnose ear infections.

Though there are some teachers who clearly don’t need to be in this profession, vast majority of us  are good teachers who go above and beyond in the classroom. We sacrifice time with our own children to prepare  for the ones in our classrooms. We spend money from our unimpressive salaries to buy materials to create dynamic lessons. We don’t take a “one size fits all” approach to teaching and learning. We give our whole hearts into education and our students. Even if they don’t say it, I think that most parents and the general public recognizes this.

However, there are parents and people in the general public who seem to believe that all teachers do whatever they can to keep kids from learning effectively, that we are to blame for all that is wrong with the education system as a whole. They overlook the little miracles that we make happen each and every day, and they don’t realize just how much work and how many different tasks the teaching profession actually takes to do well.

This is probably going to come off as a bit of a vent, and maybe it is. For Teacher’s Appreciation Week, I’ve written this list for people who don’t seem to appreciate the good teachers.

10 Ways to Show Appreciation to Teachers

 

  1. Understand that we don’t care about standardized test scores nearly as much as we care about your children truly learning what we’re teaching them.
  2. We’re not out to get your kids. If it seems like we’re “targeting” him or her, it’s only because we know they’re capable of far more than we’re getting from them.
  3. We’re here to teach your children, not to raise them. Do your part.
  4. Please believe that it is possible for your child to act one way at home with you and completely different at school with me.
  5. Don’t be surprised if your child has failed this grade level if we haven’t seen or heard from you since the first week of school. We’ve sent home numerous progress reports, at least three other report cards, and we’ve tried to call or email you several times.
  6. We are human and capable of mistakes. We know this. If you have any concerns, let’s talk about them cordially and with respect for one another. There’s no need to get defensive (or offensive) the first time you discuss a problem with us.
  7. As professionals, we’ve had extensive experience working with various attention deficit disorders and other behavioral diagnoses. We will do our best to differentiate and meet SST, RTI, IEP, OHI, and other plan modifications. But remember that kids are kids, and your kid is still going to do stupid things every now and then. All kids do. Help me teach your child strategies to overcome his or her diagnosis instead of letting them use it as a crutch or an excuse.
  8. We can’t teach at your home, also. For homework, provide an area free of distractions, establish work routines, and provide assistance and support.
  9. Talk about with your child about what he or she is learning in school. Show that you’re interested in and care about the process of learning and not just the end result on the report card.
  10. Above all else, if you do think we’re  doing a good job, let us know. Teaching is often a thankless job. We don’t do it for the gratitude  (and surely not for the money), but it does feel good to know that our hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.
Teaching is not a two-way street between the teacher and the students. It is triangular, with equal effort among teachers, students, and parents. Remember that we’re all on the same side. We all want the end goal of your child being successful. 

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Comments

  1. Laura says

    I love this so much! In my and my husband’s family we have 1 principal and 11 teachers so my husband and I are ALWAYS quick to support our sons’ teachers. If we didn’t our family members would kick our asses. We tell our boys that their jobs are to be the best students they can be and to show their teachers the respect that they would show us. The rule in our family is that Mom and Dad will back whatever teachers say so they better not try to play us against their teachers. :)

    • says

      WORD UP, Laura! Most parents think the way that you and your husband do. The sad thing is that over the years, it seems like that’s declining. Thanks for having our backs!

  2. says

    WORD! Teachers are underpaid and under appreciated. One of my twins has been diagnosed with ASD, he has a whole team of teachers on his side, and every single one of them cares about him and works like crazy to bring out the best in my son every day. From what I can see, it isn’t teachers that are the problem, but administration and the system in general. What really drives me crazy is that my son has a wonderful para-professional that works with him every day, and she is never invited to parent teacher conferences or PPTs. It doesn’t seem fair that someone who is so important to my son should be so invisible. She definitely deserves a huge thank you.

  3. says

    My girl is starting school this year, and I hope she loves all her teachers as much as she has loved her preschool teachers.

    There’s nothing better than a good teacher – they stick with you long after you’ve left their classroom!

  4. says

    Yes Yes Yes.

    My kids are in 7th and 8th grade respectively this year and it hasn’t all been sunshine and roses (they are 12 and 14, so) but the one issue I always lead with when emailing a teacher with a question is this:

    Is he being respectful to you? Is she polite and cooperative in class?

    In the grand scheme of school, that is (almost) all I care about. Everything else will take care of itself. But whether you like the teacher or not, you WILL give authority its due.

    Non-negotiable.

    Of course it helps that I was a high school teacher for 17 years.
    My children know I won’t take any crap.

    No lie.

  5. Jerrah says

    Well for me, I really appreciate teachers because my father was a teacher and my sister is a teacher.. I know their hard work and their patience with their students..

  6. Rosalind says

    As a fellow teacher, I can fully understand how you feel. Especially in the first three items in “10 Ways to Show Appreciation to Teachers”.

  7. Jeanie says

    Understand that your teacher knows more than you do. She may not know more about the topic at hand, but she’s experienced if only due to her advanced age.

  8. says

    I’m and educator and a single mom to special-needs twins so I am constantly struggling to remember which hat to wear. I am so blessed that my boys have such exemplary teachers and it tears my heart out to see their hands tied by district cutbacks, budget restrictions, and NCLB regulations. Their teachers have poured their very souls into helping my boys and that is a debt that can never be repaid. This last week I actually had a mom show up during my office hours and accused me of racism because I “GAVE” her daughter a ‘C’ in my course. I had to explain to her that (a) I did not GIVE her daughter a ‘C’, she EARNED a ‘C’, (b) the grade had nothing to do with her daughter’s race and everything to do with the fact that she only came to about 60% of the lectures and sat texting on her phone the entire time, and (c) her daughter is 22 years old and maybe mom should stop being such a helicopter parent and teach her child to put on her big girl pants and start taking responsibility for her own actions. I have zero tolerance for kids who make it to college having never learned any respect for their educators. Those behaviors don’t spontaneously manifest themselves; they are engrained upon them by their parents. OK…I’ll get off of my soapbox now. ((banging head on desk repeatedly)) :)

  9. Steve Grant says

    Yes, we should not hate teachers because they are the honorable persons and they are the well wisher of students. Though sometimes they becomes rude on students but also that is for students prosperity. So, we should respect them.

  10. says

    will you please write about what are GOOD gifts to give teachers at the end of the year and what gifts you toss or make fun of??!!

    (and yes, please do break the list down by age of student)

    (because, yes, I am totally in need of this information)

  11. Howard Jones says

    Teachers deserve to be appreciated for they are responsible for a large percentage that is involved in the upbringing of children. But it is funny that most people hate. Teachers need to be rewarded by something like a vacation to a really nice place.

  12. Wayne says

    The tips you have shared are the things that will really make teachers’ lives a lot more easier.

  13. Nancy says

    Well I seriously think teachers are the ones who deserve all teh credits and appreciation that is possible to be given….

  14. Simon Garrison says

    The teachers are like a fruit tree who are serves knowledge to their students. So, i respect them from my heart. I want to try these 10 ways of showing appreciation to our teachers which you have shared with us. Thanks for this nice post.

  15. says

    When I was studying, I was so proud of my teachers for giving me best learning. For developing my personality. What I am right now; it is the help of my teachers so I really appreciate the help and hardwork of my teachers. I am so proud for all teachers.

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