Ok Well, maybe don’t just go up and hug any teacher cause that is kind of weird… let’s just say metaphorically speaking.
Teachers are some of the hardest working people in the world! How do I know that?
Let’s rewind the clock a little shall we? I remember sitting in my science class back in 8th grade and seeing our science teacher completely frustrated with us and exasperated. I recall this specific thought coming into my head “I do NOT want to be a teacher and have to put up with kids like us all the time. I don’t blame him.” (Disclaimer: I was not a troublemaker. We weren’t horrible all the time, but we had our days) Now it must have been a pretty big “ah-ha” moment for me to remember a thought I had at 13 cause that was …. well it doesn’t matter exactly how many years ago, right? I started to realize in high school that my teachers were pretty cool (thought I probably never said that out loud) and that it wasn’t an easy job. I thought I knew…
Fast forward to, eh let’s say some, years later when my oldest child began elementary school. I immediately got involved as much as I could with his class and teacher. Once again I gained respect for those special individuals who teach children day in and day out. I know not everyone loves their experience with teacher every year, but we’ve really had great teachers through out the years! I now have a 4th grader, 1st grader and a preschooler that is gearing up for kindergarten. My own mom has been a teacher’s aide & resource teacher in high schools and elementary schools. I had a very dear friend who started her career as a 2nd grade teacher, I’ve had interaction with each of my children’s teachers and I really appreciated teachers everywhere. Or so I though…
Here I am now working a very part time job at my children’s elementary school. I started this position last spring. I work each Tuesday and go throughout the school teaching a 1 hour lesson to one class in each grade. My lessons are fairly easy to prep for and like I said I am only in each class for one hour.
I am telling you now I did not appreciate teachers enough. I thought I did. I didn’t.
Now this is not to say anything against the kids that I work with. I know many of them from my neighborhood and involvement in the children’s primary in my church ward. Others I know as friends of my kids and from my volunteer opportunities in the school. I love the kids! This is job great for me! And I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from becoming a teacher, in fact I am very proud of my little brother who recently graduated with a degree in teaching. But let me tell ya, some days are hard. If you’re a parent you know that already, some days with kids are hard, right? Some of the hardest jobs can also be the most rewarding!
Imagine being in a class with 30 kids give or take, any number of which may be having a rough day or moment, any or all days of the week throughout a whole school year. Imagine caring about them as a group and individually, trying not to get frustrated with them when they give you a hard time (sometimes everyday), guiding them, wanting them to learn and progress, and cheering them on and celebrating their sucesses!
Think about all of the prep work that goes into lessons throughout the whole year, the set up of their classroom and all of the systems that they implement to reinforce learning and good behavior. The time they sacrifice getting things ready at home, that they don’t get paid for. The meetings, the changes in curriculum, the continuing education for teaching, the work that continues after the kids go home. HA! I mean I am saying this like I know. I still don’t know about all of the things they do!
Now imagine meeting with and working with that many different parents and personalities and sometimes taking criticism from them too. . .
Two things inspired my thoughts about this topic and my deciding to share them. First, I work at the school and I work in the classrooms and I am much more aware of the effort involved. Notice I say aware, that is because I am not a teacher and I don’t claim to be, I just understand a bit more. Second, one of my best friends, a teacher, once shared this with me:
She was gearing up for parent/teacher conference. I remember thinking “really?”
Now I am not saying that every teacher is perfect for teaching. There are some that maybe should have looked for another profession, but this post isn’t about those teachers. So I am not going there.
All I want us to realize is this:
A cousin of mine once reminded me that once school starts your child spends more time in a week with their teacher than they do with you! I am so grateful for the teachers that watch over my kids. I am well aware that my kids are not always perfect angels! I do expect and require that they respect their teachers and put in their best effort in school.
Teachers are like us, human, but I am sure that they’re pretty close to saint-hood so give them a break, tell them thank you, help when you can and please make sure that your child respects and listens to them! Because most of the time they’re doing the best they can which is pretty dang awesome!
Ok soap box is concluded.
And I haven’t even touched on the Principal, Secretaries, Maintenance, and Lunchroom Staff! It takes a lot of fantastic people working together to create a great school!