10 Reasons We Should Appreciate Teachers This Much All Year Long


10 Reasons We Should Appreciate Teachers This Much All Year Long

It’s Teacher Appreciation Day today, but here are a few reasons we should all appreciate teachers every day of the year!

1. Teachers are always looking for ways to be better than they were the day before

Teachers are performers and are not allowed “off days”. The act of teaching is largely a performance art and a balancing exercise between entertainment, engagement, and informing. Students today are living in a world of nonstop stimuli, and teachers need to constantly up their engagement game in order for academics to compete with the other diversions vying for students’ attention. Oh, your kid thinks this teacher’s geometry class is boring? How about you try to find a stimulating way to force an understanding of the Pythagorean Theorem. Then we will talk. ACKNOWLEDGE.

2. Teachers are under more and more pressure to perform every year, no matter the circumstances

Time is not flexible and the expectations of that time are non-negotiable. The breadth and the depth of content that teachers are asked to convey to students is infinite, but the amount of time to do so is. What if someone doesn’t get it? Tough luck. What if there’s a gap in understanding? Too bad. What if the kids aren’t learning at the same rate or on the same level? Well, it’s on the teacher adjust their instruction to make sure that every kid gets what he needs, no child is left behind, every student succeeds, and no time is wasted. The level of talent that it takes to make this symphony happen cannot be measured. RECOGNIZE!

3. Teachers performance is based on students’ scores

The evaluation methods used to assess the quality of a teacher’s job performance are standardized yet… children are not standardized. That means that there are 25 little beings that teachers not only have to educate, but there are 25 individual little units of personality, behavior, and willingness that impact the assessment of how well a teacher delivers that education. Students have very different learning abilities and capacities, and yet the degree to which a teacher is revered or criticized for doing the job well is entirely dependent upon that moving target. BRAVO teachers!

4. Teachers take orders and advice from superiors who for the most part have never set foot in the classroom

Teachers are not governed by a body of their peers like other professions. The board members of the World Health Organization must first prove that they are exceptional doctors before they can have a seat on that board. The American Bar Association is composed entirely of lawyers and judges who have proven to have extraordinary talent in that field. Farmers, ranchers, and textile experts govern the US Department of Agriculture along with other producers with extensive knowledge of how to feed, clothe, and shelter the people of the planet. But local, state, and national boards of education do not need to meet any of these criteria. Sure, some select members do. But by and large the people that are in charge of creating mandates, making decisions, and regulating the performance of education need not have any experience as an educator to qualify. This lack of uniformity is a slap in the face to each teacher who shows up and lends their credibility and expertise to the role every day. APPRECIATE THAT. 

5. Teachers give every child a fighting chance, no matter their history

Teachers don’t get to pick and choose their class lists each year. They’re given a new group of children with varied behavioral issues, social issues, personality issues, and respect issues, and they give them all a clean slate to grow from. For 180+ days, give or take, they provide the very best instruction and dedication that they can because they legitimately care about every child that enters their classroom each and every day of every school year. On a fundamental civil level, this needs to be APPLAUDED. 

6. Parents don’t always take them seriously, and respect is a taboo word in this profession

Because all parents have at one point been students, they think they know what the job of a teacher is all about. How hard can it possibly be to take a group of children and teach them something? Hard. Very hard. The artistry involved in taking students from the point of “not knowing” something to the point of “understanding” something is intricate and complicated and requires a lot more effort and energy than most parents realize, and we should appreciate the expertise it takes for teachers to pull this off each and every day. PRAISE.

7. Teaching is the only profession where you physically can’t go to the bathroom when you need to

Teachers can only pee when told and on command. The urgency of urination is a biological signal that most of us learned to master around the age of two. We feel a sensation, and we are supposed to go. By and large, in the world of adults, this is allowed and permitted. Even more, this practice is encouraged as an investment in the overall bladder health of the human species as a whole. Teachers are expected to power their engines on coffee and to consume a significant amount of water to hydrate the pistons throughout the day. But when it comes to releasing the fluids of industry, teachers are simply not allowed to leave their classrooms full of students unattended to discharge. So they hold it. After several years, many of these lieutenants of liquid could funnel a 5-gallon jug of agua and still make it to 6th period. RESPECT.

8. It’s the only profession where you don’t get a lunch break

They eat lunch like clockwork—very fast clockwork. Consumption is another area in which teachers fly in the face of conformity. Most of them have a lunch 21 minutes where they are expected to shovel in the midday meal after escorting their classes into the lunchroom, ensuring they are all served, and being certain that Brittany isn’t sitting next to Marissa because of the drama surrounding the chicken nugget incident of ’18. And midday is sometimes at like 10:38 because of the air traffic controlling nature of scheduling dozens of classes to funnel through one portion-controlled line. They then have to empty their plates and get these same students back to the learning environment without missing a beat. Digestion, be damned. MULTITASKING NINJAS.

9. Teachers create ALL other professions

Without good teachers, NONE of us would be where we are. This is a verifiable fact. It doesn’t matter if you’re a chief justice on the Supreme Court or if you work at a water treatment plant, there is a group of people somewhere that is collectively responsible for making sure that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the tasks that you have been hired to do. I’ve never met a single person that is at a loss for a name when asked to list the teacher/s that made a contribution to their overall well-being and changed their life for the better. See? You just did it too. So did Henry Kissinger, Lady Gaga, and the entire cast of Phantom of the Opera. It’s universal. THANK YOU, TEACHERS!

10. Teachers get out of bed every day for the kids… your kids.

When teachers sign up for this gig, they understand what they are getting into. They know that they will spend a large number of their personal time creating and dedicating and loving and investing into a service that will change lives and change the world. Teachers don’t expect fanfare or wealth. They don’t even expect appreciation in most cases.

Let’s make this the year we show them the love they DESERVE anyway. 

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10 Reasons We Should Appreciate Teachers This Much All Year Long

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Leslie

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Leslie is a super fancy award-winning educator with more than 25 years experience and has taught students at every level from elementary through doctoral. She's tired. Her actual day job with benefits is to serve as the Executive Director of the Leadership Development Institute at Louisiana State University.

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