Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day and I just want to take a moment to say thank you to all of the amazing teachers in America and throughout the world.
In my family, there are generations of teachers and professionals in the education system. My mother is a teacher, my grandfather was a teacher, and my grandmother was a school secretary. I am the first generation in a while with no plans to teach or work in the education system. Perhaps my little brother will change that, but as of right now he wants to be a jet pilot or police officer, so we’ll see.
Growing up with a family full of teachers, I fully support our teachers. My mother means the entire world to me and I am so proud to call her my mom. This is an appreciation post for everything that she, and so many other teachers, has experienced.
I remember being a child watching my mom become certified with her teaching degree and going to her graduation. I remember her first year as a teacher, where she was still learning the ropes and her students took advantage of her every moment that they could (which is not unusual for first-year teachers). I watched as she became a passionate and confident teacher, a veteran of over 10 years of teaching experience – the type of teacher whose students call her “mom.”
I remember going to school with my mother a few times as a kid because my school was closed and she had to take me with her. I would sit in the back of the classroom and all of her students would come swoon over me and my shyness materialized itself. I watched her gather together her students and teach them math concepts that could be difficult but were simple when she broke them down. She would, and still does, stay after school to help tutor her students.
I remember helping my mom clean her whiteboards and laminate projector screens after school (anybody else remember those?!). I’ve spent hours with her painting her classrooms various shades of green, blue, and tan on weekends. We went to what I called “teacher stores” because she would buy notebooks, pencils, pens, dry erase markers, paper towels, little treats and gifts for her students; we would search for posters, poster borders, and interesting books for her classroom.
When you become a teacher, and you truly want to make a difference in your students lives, you dedicate your life to it.
My mother has cried because of how crappy the students are to her (especially her first year), how challenging it is to deal with students’ parents, the politics of earning the support from a principal. I’ve listened to her moan and groan for years about teaching. There are countless stories I could tell you from the stories my mom has told me, some funny and some upsetting.
Being a teacher is not a simple job. Could you stand to manage 120 kids every day and try to teach them the Pythagorean theorem or the difference between “effect” and “affect?” Most people would say no. So why is it that our teachers, especially Arizona teachers, get treated so poorly with so little pay? It is entirely unfair. They may have their summers “off” but that is because they hardly get any other breaks. On weekends, Saturday’s and Sunday’s aren’t spent at the beach or on a trip – they’re spent grading papers and making lesson plans. Christmas break and other various vacations are spent doing that exact same thing. This is all not to mention if the teacher partakes in any school events, trips, clubs, dances, sports, etc. — that’s just more dedicated time.
I am thankful and grateful to my mother and my family because they have given me a passion for education and supporting our teachers. I’ve learned to do what you’re passionate about, even if it’s a struggle and the pay is terrible.
Without teachers, how would we inspire and teach the future generations that are meant to run our country, our world?
Many of my friends are aspiring to become teachers of various grade levels and subjects, and I worry for them. What kind of teaching world will they be entering into when they graduate, especially in Arizona? But I am proud of the work that they will be doing, but I still worry.
Teaching is society’s greatest asset but it is extremely undervalued. I just want to say thank you so much to all of the teachers out in the world today, especially the teachers I have been lucky enough in my life. Please keep teaching and know that we all support and love you. It is an entirely uphill battle, but it is well worth the struggle.
I hope that all of the readers out there understand a little bit about the life of a teacher and/or the life of a teacher’s daughter. It’s been an adventure. Please support your local schools by voting for pro-education officials, donating to your local schools, and simply saying “Thank you, I appreciate you,” to the teachers in your life.
Thank you for reading to the end of my story time and appreciation post for teachers! It’s a little bit different of a post from what I’ve been doing, but I felt that it was necessary.