Happy *early* national teacher appreciation day! I’m so excited this day is finally here (or at least it will be finally here tomorrow). I have been looking forward to writing this post for months because I’ve been so fortunate to have had such incredible educators throughout my life. I know that they don’t always get the acknowledgement or even the “thank you” they rightfully deserve, so today’s post is for all of the educators out there putting in the hours, teaching kids from nursery school to grad school, and shaping our future as a result!
Dear educators everywhere,
We are forever indebted to you.
You go out of your way and above and beyond for every single one of your students to make sure they can learn how they learn best. The extra time and effort you put into making learning both effective and enjoyable for everyone does not go unnoticed. Even though you work incredibly hard day after day, you never seem to lose an ounce of passion for what you do.
I’m sure some days it may seem like, for all that you give, you don’t get much return. There are times when you’re disrespected, misunderstood, exhausted, and frustrated. You use your own paycheck to purchase things to make your classroom, your teaching, and your students’ experience better. The countless hours reading through pages of essays, grading stacks of tests, crafting lesson plans, communicating with parents, and making endless copies of assignments are long and tiring, but you want to give each student the individual feedback and attention they will benefit from. You arrive early, work through lunch, and leave late to help as many kids understand the material as needed.
I also know that you keep going because of the opposite, because of the days where you can see how you’ve impacted one of your students. You support them on their worst days and you celebrate them on their best. Although you are only technically required to transfer information from your mind to theirs, you don’t think twice about going the extra mile. You love your students like they’re your own kids because, as I’ve heard from numerous teachers throughout the years, you do think of them as your own. You spend so much time with each and every student; you are such a large part of their lives, in some cases even seeing a child more often than their own parents. You have the unique, incredibly special opportunity to truly change lives and you make that difference with every single class that passes through your door.
“A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart.”
To those amazing teachers who I have the honor of calling mine-
I am grateful for you seeing the potential in me I’d never thought to look for myself.
I am grateful for you encouraging me to open up and put myself out there, for you understanding my struggle with anxiety and putting in the extra effort to get to know me, for me.
I am grateful for you challenging me, for pushing me. You told me when I could do better and you knew how to guide me to find success on my own.
I am grateful for you making suggestions for my resume, writing letters of recommendation, proofreading scholarship essays, organizing and heading my extracurriculars, listening to me practice my graduation speech over and over, and overall just always checking in on me.
I am grateful for you still keeping in touch and maintaining an interest in my life, even after I’ve left your classroom. You take pride in every little thing I do and, honestly, there’s no way I would be where I am without you.
Thank you for being willing and excited to do more than your job description. Educators aren’t just teachers, they’re life coaches, counselors, cheerleaders, confidantes, negotiators, mediators, role models, travel agents, fundraisers, mentors, tutors, problem-solvers, and friends. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, they even become family.
Thank you for caring. You often know your students better than they know themselves. Even when they say they’re okay, you can see past the surface, know what’s really going on, and help them.
Thank you for your perseverance, encouragement, and creativity. You have one of the hardest jobs out there, but you do it with a smile on your face and love in your heart.
Thank you for making me the person I am today. And really, thank you for being you.
“A good teacher is like a candle: it consumes itself to light the way for others” – Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
~ How has an educator made a difference in your life?