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Did you know this is Teacher Appreciation Week?
- Teachers put together individual AP exam baggies, sharpening all those 120 pencils and adding in LifeSavers, for good measure.
- Teachers take homemade cookies, granola bars, fresh grapes and juice packs to their students the weekend they're putting together their graduation show, because we know that the cafeteria is closed on Sundays, and that that last Sunday is a very long, very tough one.
- Teachers write letters of recommendation.
- Teachers write letters of recommendation for students to attend graduate programs that perhaps we should be attending, ourselves.
- Teachers stay up late, writing tests and answer keys.
- Teachers stay up late, grading those tests.
- Teachers stand physically tough, when their school is under siege.
- Teachers stand emotionally tough, when their school is under siege, sometimes from within.
- Good teachers know not to show bias and encourage kids from the other, rival schools. Even when they beat our own students.
- Teachers stay late to understand what it is that makes each student special.
- Teachers stay late to meet each student's parent that comes for Open House night.
- Teachers worry about budgets and funding, about standardized testing, about tuition and scholarships, about enrollment, about graduate job placement opportunities.
- Teachers have to stand and field questions like, "Was is worth it? Was the price of this education worth it?" and hope that we've trained our students well enough to be willing to try to answer all the tough questions that will come through their lives, for themselves.
- Teachers discipline, comfort, focus and, hopefully, inspire.
- Teachers shape our future.
So maybe today, or maybe at the end of the school year, show your appreciation. We appreciate the flowers, the chocolate, the Chai Tea mix, the sweater (?), and the fancy desk pen sets. We have a growing, very mismatched set of "Hug a Teacher" coffee mugs.
The one thing that teachers will keep, though, tucked away in our year books is this:
The letters of thanks.
So do this: Sit down and write a letter to show your appreciation. Be generous with your gratitude. Did your teachers inspire you? Did they make a difference?
Let them know.