Something aspiring teachers may have heard before is, "Well, anyone can be a teacher."
As we are in the midst of appreciating our teachers this week, I am here to tell you that that statement is most certainly not true.
Teachers work day isn't simply from the time the bell rings in the morning to the time it chimes again in the afternoon. It's not your typical 9-5 job, it's so much more than that. It means taking home tests and grading late into the night. Being a teacher means reading countless papers and making lesson plans that engage students. Teaching involves endless planning and making sure we are actively being attentive to the needs of each individual student. Most importantly, it's about wanting our students to succeed and going above and beyond to make sure that happens.
It's easy for parents to remember teacher appreciation week and have little private lunches for teachers or send in flowers and cards with their children to give to their own teachers, but some of the greatest gifts are the words that come from the heart.
It's when you work hard teaching a difficult lesson to a classroom of confused students and suddenly their eyes light up and they say, "I finally understand!"
While a Starbucks gift card is sweet, nothing makes me feel better than when a child walks in with a smile on their face and says even the simplest "How are you?". Or perhaps you help a student on a tough math problem and after they finally come to the correct answer they say, "Thanks Mrs. So-and-so". Actions and words speak louder than any card or gift ever could.
As a future teacher, I want my children excited about learning, telling me they enjoy the lessons I teach or the activities we do, or maybe even the projects I assign. I want students to give me their honest feedback about my classroom policies, procedures, and curriculum as it helps me grow as an educator and make adjustments for future students. Overall, I want to be the absolute best teacher I can be for every group of students that walks into my classroom.
So yes, bring the flowers, the cards, the special treats, but never forget to thank your teachers during every time of year. For they work incredibly hard to ensure that you have a bright future. They believe in you, they love you, and they want what is the absolute best for you, so show your teachers some love by telling them just how much they mean to you.