Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Why I Think "Teacher Appreciation Week" Should be Changed to "People Appreciation Week"

I'm not saying we shouldn't appreciate teachers. We absolutely should.

I appreciate every single one of my childrens' teachers. Well, everyone except my daughter's third grade teacher who told me at my very first parent-teacher conference, "I HATE your daughter." There's a special place in hell for that woman.

And you can bet what I did shortly after that conference--I withdrew my daughter from public school and homeschooled her. It wasn't without attempts to remedy the problem first, of course, but they weren't met with the most pleasant of responses. I couldn't let my daughter continue to rot and fester in that teacher's class, with her desk squeezed in a corner, back turned to the other students, completely isolated from her peers like some sort of dunce. But that's a story for another day...

Most teachers are pleasant people who love children, love teaching and probably love learning in their spare time. They sacrifice of themselves, their time and their resources to make their classrooms a nice place for children. They create a safe learning environment.

But I wonder what's wrong with us as a people that we should need an entire week dedicated to appreciating teachers. Shouldn't we be doing that daily anyway? Why do we have to wait for an appointed week to do something that should be automatic?

And if we insist on having an entire week dedicated to teachers, why do we limit that to school teachers? Why don't we include homeschooling parents? They're teachers. What about missionaries? They're teachers, too, sharing their knowledge of religion the world over. What about writers and authors? Their words and books teach millions. What about artists and musicians? Their mediums teach us about the world, teach us emotions. What about dancers? They teach us to move and love with a simple gesture. What about engineers? They teach us to appreciate creations large and small, from bridges, to electricity to computers and satellites. What about doctors and nurses? They teach us how to heal our bodies and take care of ourselves. What about parents? They're the greatest teachers of all. They teach children to love, respect, honor, cherish, tolerate. They teach persistence and perseverance, kindness, charity. They teach us how to cook, tie our shoes, make our beds, clean our rooms, care for others. They teach us to have hope and faith.

So go out and thank a teacher today, this week, this month. But don't limit it to classroom teachers, okay? Think of all the people in your life who've taught you or your children and thank them.  And do it with a genuine heart of gratitude.

Don't forget to thank yourself with a pat on the back for a job well done.


2 comments:

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I am so sorry you and your daughter had such a terrible experience.

As a former teacher, I enjoyed teacher appreciation week. It did feel like the parents and students noticed how much I did for them. Teaching is not an 8-3 job. For me I was at school from 7-5 or 6 each day and then I worked at least two more hours each night. I get what you mean about all the other people in our communities needing to be appreciated. Maybe we could have an international appreciation of helpful people day? You could start it on Twitter. I'm doing an international be positive day on twitter on May 21st. :)

Amie Borst said...

Thanks for sacrificing and serving so our children could learn, Sharon! I'll join you on twitter on the 21st!