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
- 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.
- 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.
- We’re here to teach your children, not to raise them. Do your part.
- Please believe that it is possible for your child to act one way at home with you and completely different at school with me.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- We can’t teach at your home, also. For homework, provide an area free of distractions, establish work routines, and provide assistance and support.
- 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.
- 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.