May 4-10 is Teacher Appreciation Week! My wife, Bonnie, is a teacher, and has taught school for 31 years. She is now teaching second generation students, students of students she has taught.

There are still people who are under the misconception that teachers have the easy life, they work just school hours, are done by 2:30 -3 PM, have weekends and summers off. There is nothing further from the truth. Most teachers are in the schools until a couple of hours after school, involved in after school activities, offering extra help, or grading papers. Many teachers are in on the weekends, as the paperwork has increased, so that teachers can’t complete everything during the “normal” work week.

Teachers are supplying their classrooms with the “little things” that come out of their own paychecks. Crayons, paper, kleenex, even food so students can concentrate on learning rather than listening to their stomachs growl are all being purchased by the teachers.

How can you celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week? Don’t get them a coffee mug! Ask if you can volunteer for a hour in the classroom or help them from home. Check in with them and ask if they need anything for the classroom. Get them a gift card to Walmart or Staples. The teacher isn’t going to use it on themselves, they’ll buy something for the classroom, and your child will benefit! Tell them “Thank-you”. You’d be surprised how far that simple “thank-you” will go!