Despite some (evidently widespread) confusion as to its exact date, today is National Teacher Appreciation Day 2017 (according to the NEA) and Day 2 of National Teacher Appreciation Week 2017 (according to the National PTA). According the National Day Calendar, it regularly falls on the first Tuesday of the first full week of May. This year, May started on a Monday, which led to the aforementioned uncertainty.
Regardless of when you choose to celebrate, recognize, and thank the teachers in your life, the fact is there’s never a bad time to do so. So in this spirit, I’ve written an open letter to all teachers, coaches, and private instructors for Teacher Appreciation Day.
Thank you for your time, your compassion for learning, and your love for your students and your job. I know it is often a thankless position, but you do it day after day, year after year because you, above all people, see the difference that you can make in a child’s life. It goes beyond just teaching them their ABC’s and 123’s, the reading, math, science, and social studies. You foster a love for music and art. You teach them how to be responsible and kind and strong (both mentally and physically). You’re there for that one child who needs a little extra help and to challenge that child who sometimes finds things a little too easy. You help them learn to think for themselves and make the RIGHT decisions.
You know who you are, so THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart because:
You loved my children as though they were your own.
You picked them up and wiped their tears when they stumbled (physically and academically).
You understood their fears and addressed them rather than ignoring them.
You taught her how to tie her shoes and button her pants (although my eldest still hates to attempt both).
You challenged my daughter to read and write well above her grade level and enjoy it.
You fostered my daughter’s love of math, which I know she will never outgrow.
You introduced her to new and exciting places and times.
You tried to teach her patience and the importance of doing her work correctly and not just racing to get it done. (We’re still working on that one.)
You gave her the support to be courageous enough to compete in Speech contests and perform public announcements at school.
You taught them that they could read music, and play piano (and drums), and sing. (Oh, how they can sing!)
You taught them that a girl could be a fierce competitor in sports (even playing against boys).
You taught them to be kind, and considerate, and giving.
You taught them that not everyone learns at the same speed they do and that helping others stay on track helps them as well.
You taught them that giving is more important than receiving and helping others is often a gift in itself.
You are teaching them to be leaders and not just followers, to ask why and how.
Thank you for being there as that extra ear to listen, the shoulder to cry on, and a hug when needed. Thank you for treating them as if they were your own flesh and blood. Thank you for supporting and encouraging them in all that they do. Thank you for looking out for them. Thank you for teaching them what they need to know, both in academics and life. And thank you for doing it day in and day out with little appreciation.
You are shaping tomorrow’s leaders, doctors, scientists, writers, and artists, which is a great responsibility. The success of our future (their future) rests on your shoulders. It could be considered a great burden, but I believe that you, as teachers, see it as a great challenge and privilege, in which you are more than capable of success!
My gratitude and support is with you in all that you do. Thank you!