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Challenge: Extraordinary Teachers

Let’s be honest, do teachers really deserve the entire week of Teacher Appreciation Week?

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It comes around every year in May. We get a paper sent home letting us know what we can get our child’s teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week. You can search Pinterest for all things teacher appreciation. If I see one more candy bar with a punny note attached to it I might go into a sugar coma. How many “You Deserve A Break” Kit Kats does a teacher really need?

I appreciate the sentiment but I have a sneaking suspicion my kids’ teachers are all tapped out on cookies letting them know they’ve made my kid “one smart cookie”….not that they don’t appreciate the thought. These are all cute gifts, they really are. They get these gifts each day for an entire week.

But let’s be honest, do these teachers really deserve an entire week of appreciation gifts and recognition? A full week? All the candy bars? Every apple everything we can possibly get our hands on?

Nope! Not at all. They do not deserve a entire week.

I drop my kids off with these teachers 5 days out of the 7 day week. They’re with my kids 8 hours out of the 15 hours my kids are awake each day. They’re responsible for teaching my kids everything we expect our kids to learn to advance to the next grade or stage in life. They have to make sure my kids are safe in their care. They are their teachers, protectors, leaders, comforters, comedians, life coach, and more. I choose to trust them with my babies. I choose to put my childrens’ well being in their hands and be comfortable with the fact that they’ll be with my child more hours in the week than I will.

Teachers don’t deserve an entire week of appreciation, they just don’t. They deserve so much more.

They deserve reminders all year that they are valued and appreciated. They deserve acknowledgment for going into a profession out of passion and not the pay check. They deserve to know they aren’t taken for granted and that the fact they are forming the lives of our little humans doesn’t go unnoticed.

I love Teacher Appreciation Week, I truly do, but I also want to love on the teachers as much as possible throughout the school year. They would love a random note in the middle of October reminding them how much you appreciated them. They would cherish a gift card in the middle of January to help replenish some of the classroom school supplies…because when school supplies run out, it comes out of their own paycheck to buy more.

This year for Teacher Appreciation Week ask your teacher what they need, as much as they love Kit Kats, they probably need dry erase markers more. As much as they love cookies, they’d probably love gift cards to their favorite store even more. Ask them what they need, what they want, or how you can help. What does their classroom need to further your child’d development and education. What’s their favorite restaurant so you can treat them to a drink, an appetizer, or full on dinner. And step away from the apple paper weight!

To my children’s teachers, you’re the real hero here. Thank you for filling in the gaps for my kids, the gaps that I leave wide open because I’m not capable of teaching them the way you do. Thank you for caring for my children in my absence. Thank you for making sure my children’s classrooms are equipped with everything they need for a healthy learning environment, even if it means sacrificing your paycheck to make it happen. Thank you for making my children feel safe when they’re scared, loved when they homesick, smart when they’re struggling, and for giving them giggles when they need a smile. Thank you for truly investing in their future and helping them gain the skills they need to leave your classroom and advance to the next stage of their lives. I appreciate you far beyond Teacher Appreciation Week.

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