As easy as it is to support the notion that parenthood really should be a year round celebration not just relegated to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, it’s just as easy to justify teachers also deserve year round celebration beyond Teacher Appreciation Day as well. After all, they are with our children 7 hours a day, 180 days a year, and if parenting is the hardest job in the world, then teaching has got to be the runner up, don’t you think? The fact of the matter is these designated days are necessary place markers on the calendar lest a year pass with no celebration at all.
So, Tuesday, May 5th it is and celebrating our children’s teachers is where the creativity of parent organizations seems to have no bounds. We are good at this. Just google “teacher appreciation day ideas” and you will get 5 million results (no kidding).
Whether we celebrate our teachers with homemade or store bought presents, breakfasts or lunches, activities in or away from school matters less than the heartfelt gratitude behind the actual celebration. Our teachers, like all of us- parents and children- also need words of encouragement and appreciation. These words whether delivered on a given day, like my Mother’s Day card, or spread throughout the year are what really count. So, just like we remind our children to say their thank yous, now is the time to remind parents to say theirs.
Several years ago when my youngest was in 6th grade I gave this card to the teachers on her team. It was a year’s worth of cummulative thank yous.
A FEW OF THE REASONS I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU
Thank you for the perfect balance of compassion and discipline you provide
Thank you for the patience you demonstrate on a daily basis
Thank you for keeping an eye on my child in the places beyond the classroom where messy things can happen- the halls- the lunch room- the locker rooms
Thank you for being there at 7:15 am to go over an important math concept- just one more time
Thank you for your gentle words of encouragement that can make my child’s day
Thank you for seeing this challenging age as an amazing not pathological stage of development
Thank you for holding on to your own inner child so you can better understand my child
Thank you for your never-ending creativity in the classroom
Thank you for understanding my child is more than grades on a report card
Thank you for maybe thinking but not saying “Now I know why your child is like this” after you met me
Thank you for answering emails at 9:30 at night
Thank you for understanding my child is a “work in progress”
Thank you for understanding when we run out of deodorant
Thank you for encouraging my child to take a chance, speak up, be heard
Thank you for helping with those lagging organizational skills
Thank you for instilling in my child a love of learning
Thank you for your perseverance in the face of increasing demands and shifting expectations
Thank you for being wonderful teachers