Teacher appreciation week is a great week to be a teacher. Lounges are filled with the smell of bagels and donuts supplied by thoughtful parents. Lunches are catered in and appreciative administrators pick up the tab. Students bring in treats and notes of thanks that never fail to bring smiles to teacher’s faces. Family members fill their social media walls with cute posters about how much they love teachers and support their work. It really is a great week and one I always look forward to. Yet, I wonder if there might be a better way to show appreciation for teachers in our country.
Instead of bringing in treats that add to our waistline, how about sending a letter to your state representatives asking for full funding for our schools? While sharing those cute posters about how much you love teachers on Facebook is nice, how about sharing something to raise aware about the absurdity of standardized testing? While I love the Starbucks gift cards as much as the next teacher, I would rather see that money used to fund a project for students on Donors Choose. Instead of the luncheons how about administrators do something to truly show their staff how appreciated they are?
While I love teacher appreciation week, I wonder if we as parents and community members can be doing more. This is not to say teachers are incapable of doing things themselves but they/we need help. Nor are they ungrateful for the gifts and nice comments and notes. Teachers work tirelessly to provide the best possible education for our students but it takes a village. We all need help with moving the needle of change in education to ensure our schools are the best possible learning environments they can be.
I love my children’s teachers and my gratitude for the work they do will likely never be fully realized by them. Yes, my wife and I sent in treats and gifts. However, I also sent yet another letter to our state representatives asking for our schools to be fully funded and share content to raise awareness about school issues. I am donating to a Donor’s Choose project I believe will impact children in a deserving school. What will you do to show your children’s teachers how much you appreciate them and their work?