Teacher Appreciation? Oh, Yes!
It's almost a cliche. Kids—even older ones—think that their teacher's life is all about school. There is no context for anything else, so Teacher works, lives, sleeps, and eats all in the school environment. We thought it, didn't we? They think it, too. In fact, in these rare moments when our students see us out in the greater world, their minds—and ours, too—are blown just a little bit. Does not compute, Will Robinson!
But although your students are always near, on your minds and in your hearts, the truth is that you do have lives beyond the classroom. You have trials and blessings, losses and benefits, heartbreaks and joys.
And this truth is what resonated with us here at Teacher Created Materials when reading each and every one of your splendid, touching, heart-melting, and beautiful submissions to our Teacher Appreciation story contest. From the children with very little to their names who gave their teachers their own beloved teddy bears or trinkets, to the middle school boy who surprised his teacher with a pancake breakfast that he painstakingly made, to the teacher tracked down decades later to be told what she had meant to her former student, to the teachers called "Dad" and "Mom" because that's how beloved they are, your stories made us laugh and cry and celebrate with you. But they also reminded us that you, dear teachers, are very much real people whose lives extend far beyond the classroom walls. You get frustrated and annoyed and overwhelmed, despite your seeming superhero nature. And although your lives, like everyone's, are filled with challenges, the fact is that every day you make your students believe that it is indeed all about them. You show up each day "all in"—fully present and available to your students no matter the events in your own lives or the cost to you in being fully present for them. And every day they benefit. (From your stories, we know that you do, too!)
Teachers, there is no one like you anywhere. No one with your heart, your dedication, your selflessness. Do we appreciate you? The word doesn't come close to our gratitude and our awe.
We salute you, dear teachers. And from the deepest place in our hearts, we thank you.
Didn’t get a chance to share your “teacher appreciation” story? Do it here! We’d love to read it.