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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Teacher Appreciation Week

As I navigate through my workweek, I hear from so many teacher-friends who say their school does nothing to show appreciation to the teachers that work there.  I am fortunate to work in a school that DOES show their appreciation. From a school-sponsored lunch to thank you cards from the students to small treats such as ice cream sundaes, my school works to make sure we know we are appreciated and I am grateful for that.  If your school is one of the ones that does not do anything for Teacher Appreciation week, check out various restaurants that are giving free entrees or discounts on meals in honor of Teacher Appreciation week!  I know IHop is offering a free entree to any teacher who comes in this week with a teacher badge!   

It is not always easy to be a teacher.  In many ways we are juggling many different jobs at the same time, from teaching, to being a nurse, a therapist, a mother (or father), friend, to administrative work and coaching, volunteering time after school to tutor and so many more. It's a wonder that we even have any kind of personal life!  Know that I appreciate each and every one of the amazing teachers I've come to know and admire.  Know that I appreciate the teachers I have had that have pushed me through. Know that I even appreciate the teachers who have tried to knock me down for giving me the fire and ammunition that I needed to keep going - you tell me I can't do something, I'm going to prove you wrong!

In a time of crisis within the education world, it is easy to lose sight of why we are teachers, it's easy to lose hope.  We are at the forefront of education. Politicians have no idea how to run a classroom. They wouldn't survive a day in the life of a teacher.  We must unite and speak up in support of education and more importantly, in support of our students.  Our students depend on us to make education better for them. They deserve the best education we can provide.  We must stand united and speak up and drive the change in education in the right direction. That change begins right now, within our classrooms. We know what our students need, so let's give them what they need to succeed.

The National Teacher of the Year was announced recently and she is a teacher at the high school I attended when I was in high school. I am so amazed by Mrs. Hayes' enthusiasm and drive for teaching, learning, and making sure the students succeed in life.  Her students are the reason she teaches.  Mrs. Hayes stresses the importance of making personal connections with her students as one of the reasons she does her job so well.  As teachers, we understand the importance of building relationships with our students.  We always have that handful each year that we build a great relationship with, but what about the others? I teach on average 70 students per semester.  I build relationships with several students each semester, but not all.  What can we as teachers do to build a relationship with ALL of our students, not just a handful?  

Cheers until next time!

Ms. Bergin