I have always known that teaching is hard, that as a society American’s undervalue their teachers. We know that teachers change lives, our lives, our children’s lives, our families lives for generations. A US government report recently confirmed that by failing to train and retain teachers “the teacher shortage is real, large and growing” (1). Another report published in the Educational Review shows that internationally teacher job satisfaction is a problem, and not surprisingly “Not only is job satisfaction closely related to teacher retention, but it also contributes to the well-being of teachers and their students, overall school cohesion and enhanced status of the teaching profession” (2). My husband has taught for over 20 years, and as a family counselor I have worked with countless dedicated and talented teachers over my 20 year career. But I never understood how hard the job was until I decided to teach a class. It was fun, super exciting, but so nerve wracking and so challenging. I taught a class in how to crochet, something I learned when I was 8 years old from the women in my family and that I have done all my life off and on. I had written instructions, and video instructions. I was prepared with all the necessary materials for every student. I practiced my presentation and techniques on family members prior to the class, to get a sense of what worked and didn’t. I even began the task for each student, so they would not have to complete it totally from start to finish. There were eight people in the class, I cannot imagine what 20, 40, or more in a class would be like. Again, it was great, but so freaking hard. I had no idea how hard it would be. Thank you, thank you so much to every single teacher. Please let’s do better by our teachers, please.To every person who teaches, I am in awe of you, and I promise to praise more teachers more often.
(1) U.S. Schools Struggle to Hire and Retain Teachers. The Second Report in “The Perfect Storm in the Teacher Labor Market” Series
(2) Teacher job satisfaction: the importance of school working conditions and teacher characteristics
One thought on “Thank a Teacher Every Day of the Year”
I bet (and hope) it won’t be your last teaching experience!