Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 7th - Teachers

Day 7 of Better Hearing and Speech Month


Today is Teacher Appreciation Day! As a teacher myself, this day does not go unnoticed. With the upswing of Pinterest and Social Media, it's hard not to know that it's today or what sort of cool craft moms will put together for their child's teacher. When I first started teaching 12 or so years ago, it wasn't really a big deal, but over the years, I've seen parents and administrators increase awareness and say, "Thanks."

I come from a family of teachers and "helping" professions. My mom is a high school art teacher, my mother-in-law is a former elementary school librarian and Kindergarten assistant, one of my sisters is in nursing, while my other sister is a social worker and studying to be a nurse, and my sister in law is a special education assistant in a preschool. Teachers are helpers, but we are human too. We make mistakes and we do our best to service all children-some of us do it better than others, but unlike what my daughter thinks, we don't go into this profession to make kids' lives miserable. ;)

My children have had incredible teachers. From the start with daycare providers, they have helped mold and shape where our children are today. My children become a part of them, because they give a part of themselves to my children.  I may not always agree with their style or approach, but I know my children are better people for having these wonderful people in their lives.

Bee-bee's teacher this year is fantastic.  She's a little old school with a dry sense of humor, but I still remember Bee-bee's first day of 1st grade this year, when she came home raving about Mrs. H - she said, "She's awesome!  She's funny, nice and fair." I took that as a great compliment towards her teacher.  Bee-bee also loves her specialists and even the lunch/recess monitor Mrs. S.  This year has been a little tough for Bee-bee recently due to some anxiety about school, but her teacher is being very proactive and helpful, and for that we are very grateful.

Cha-cha has been with his current teacher since last Spring.  She is also a little old school and is retiring this year, but she has a fantastic way about her with special needs children.  She's very animated and provides a safe and nurturing environment for the children.  I feel she's asked to do a whole lot with minimal support, and the way she manages it is impressive.  Cha-cha also adores his classroom paraprofessional and often talks fondly of Ms. S.  He also has a school PT who he enjoys spending time with and he's been getting to know a new SLP after his old one walked out in December.  He has a fantastic at home daycare provider that started out as Bee-bee's when she was 9 months old and now Cha-cha has the opportunity to be with Ms. W.  Her calming demeanor and relaxed way about her is a perfect match for Cha-cha.  I feel very blessed that both have had an opportunity to spend time with her.

This week, I was talking to my friend about her job in the corporate world and about how feedback is a main motivator for her job.  She talked about how a client gave positive feedback to her bosses and how one of them didn't share it with her and how it hurt her feelings that she had to hear it from another person and wasn't appropriately recognized for it.  She told me how positive feedback is a huge motivating factor in the corporate world.  Yes, I get a few thank yous from my students and positive feedback from my coworkers, and occasionally my principal will stop by and give feedback on a lesson or situation, but rarely do parents take the time to write a handwritten note of thanks or appreciation.  Let me tell you, when I do get a note, I cherish it.  It means a lot to me that a parent appreciates what I'm doing with their child.

So during this day or this week, when you get a chance, write your child's teacher a note.  Tell them thank you for their efforts. It doesn't need to be a big pinterest creation, but your kind and uplifting words may help them get through the day or the week. ;) Remember, these people spend up to 30+ hours a week with your child (elementary classroom teachers do at least).  They have a very good sense of who your child is and what your child's potential can be.  Being a teacher is not an easy job, but we do it because we love the children and the people we work with and sometimes, it's really nice to get that note of appreciation and recognition for what we do.

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