Each May, we take the time to celebrate educators during Teacher Appreciation Month. This usually means writing teachers a kind thank you note and maybe giving them a small gift, such as flowers or a delicious chocolate bar. These acts of thankfulness are heartfelt and genuine, which teachers value, but it’s not surprising that what’s most meaningful about Teacher Appreciation Month can’t be bought in a store.
1. Appreciating Each Other
In a touching essay from Educators for Excellence, a Chicago teacher explains how sharing experiences and collaborating with other educators has given all of them a new perspective on what they have in common and how they can support each other. For her, Teacher Appreciation Month is about realizing she isn’t alone in this profession or in her passion to make education work for all students.
2. Seeing Students Succeed
Throughout the year, teachers take joy in seeing their students accomplish goals, with the knowledge that they have played a part in their students’ success. Teacher Appreciation Month falls during the last part of the school year, making it especially meaningful, because teachers are witnessing the fruits of their labor at that point in the year. A common theme among educators is how they strive to create a culture of learning in their classrooms, one where success is measured by growth instead of just performance on a specific test.
3. Support for Education
This seems like a simple idea on the surface, because everyone recognizes the necessity of education. However, sufficient funding is what teachers really mean when they say that one of the best ways to appreciate them is to support education. Not only do teachers spend hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket each year on supplies, they also continually look for ways to support their students’ basic needs. If society values the work that teachers do, we need make sure education is fully funded—a true act of appreciation that would go beyond just one month out of the year.
By: Kelli Drummer-Avendano