May 8-13 is Teacher Appreciation Week! My wife, Bonnie, is a teacher, and has taught school for 40  years and is finally going to retire this June from teaching.  She is now teaching second generation students, students of students she has taught.

One of the things that the Pandemic did, in the short term, was reinforce the understanding and knowledge of the hard work that teachers do, and the appreciation both by parents and students for in classroom teaching and teachers. Hopefully everyone, parents, students, teachers and the community as a whole aren't taking teaching for granted anymore. Teachers did double duty, teaching in person and remotely at the same time, with the hybrid model for the majority of the 2020-21 school year.

There were  people who were 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. Hopefully everyone realizes that 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.

It's so nice to see that some of the PTA's or Friends groups are planning activities for their teachers this week!

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!

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