What Teachers Really Want During Teacher Appreciation Week
Every year during the first full week of May, teachers all over the United States are celebrated during National Teacher Appreciation Week. It’s the nation’s way of saying “thank you” to the teachers that touched our lives and for all the hard work and long hours that they put in.
Many educators are sent notes of gratitude and gifts during this week, and businesses usually provide teachers with discounts or free items. Also, schools organize events and celebrations to acknowledge the occasion.
But, what do teachers really want during Teacher Appreciation week? Keep reading to find out.
If you really want to give us something, we like gift cards. Everyone knows that teachers are among the lowest paid of all professionals in the United States. We are the profession that makes all other professions possible, but our paychecks don’t reflect that. However, we don’t do it for the money, we do it for the love, and the chance to help shape tomorrow’s leaders. If you really want to honor us during teacher appreciation week, gift cards are our favorite. It allows us to buy ourselves something nice without going outside of our monthly budgets.
We want school supplies. As you may already be aware of, a lot of school districts are dealing with dwindling budgets. It seems like every year; their portion of the government funding pie is getting smaller and smaller. No matter how much we protest or how loud we scream, the U.S. and its state governments refuse to fully fund education. It seems that national defense, not education, is where their budget priorities lie. And you know who gets shortchanged; the students. So instead of buying us a gift, why don’t you just buy backpacks filled with school supplies? We sure could use the help.
We want to be respected by education leaders. We come to school every day ready to work. We spend weekends and weeknights preparing for lectures and experiments. Unfortunately, in a lot of school districts, we are not respected by our principals or the district’s central office staff. We are treated like worker bees, who can be easily replaced. We want this to stop. This does not apply to all school districts, but it does apply a sizable portion. We want to be respected and treated like the professionals we are.
We want to hear positive things from parents. Parents are quick to accuse teachers of a multitude of things, from mistreating their child to being incompetent. We are tired of this misrepresentation of who we are. Sure, there are a small number of teachers that need to be called out, but most of us love your children as our own and want to see them succeed. So, remember that the next time you want to rant rave about our ineffectiveness or incompetence. We want to hear more positive things from teachers, instead of always being bombarded with negative ones.
We want notes from our current and former students. As teachers, we spent decades educating thousands upon thousands of tomorrow’s leaders. We might run into some of you all at the local grocery store or at a homecoming game. However, many of you will go off and settle down in other states and countries, and our paths may never cross again. That’s why we love receiving notes from current and former students. Notes from current students let us know the difference that we are making in the short term, and notes from former students allow us to gauge our effectiveness in the long term.
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