To be honest, I was a bit irritated when my child came home with a letter reminding parents that today, October 5TH, is World Teachers’ Day. What actually got to me was the bit of the letter that told parents to find ways of appreciating their children’s class teachers today.
At first glance, it appeared to me that the school was just looking for another way to take from parents again. However, on second thoughts, I had to admit that the letter was actually necessary because unfortunately, teachers are one of the most underappreciated group of people in today’s world. I think the plight of teachers is somewhat worse in my home country, Nigeria. While other professions are glamorized, the teaching profession is sometimes looked down on. Really, how many parents would actually encourage their children to go in for teaching in today’s world?
To make matters worse, the teachers are also sometimes exploited by their employers who claim to be educationists but are just in it for the money. There are also some parents who claim to be appreciating the teachers but are only doing what they are doing in order to get favors for their children.
I could go on and on but instead, I will stop here leaving you with 4 reasons, which I picked up from, why you should go all out to appreciate your child’s teacher on their special day and even beyond. I added one last reason which I believe is worth noting as well…
1.Teachers are real people, too. Do you remember being a child and thinking that your teacher lived at school? Or thinking that he or she never used the bathroom, or visited fun places, like the movies? People would not believe it, but there are adults who place teachers in the same kind of limited box. They do not expect teachers to have lives or to have wants and desires. The teacher is expected to be grading papers and creating masterful lesson plans 24 hours a day, instead of meeting with friends at a concert or relaxing at the beach.
2.Teachers are creative. There is one thing I will always hold to be true – teachers are the most creative and ingenious creatures on this planet. If you ever need to find the solution to a challenge or a new way to complete a task, ask a teacher. For years, teachers have created activities and projects, and now they are coming up with new ways to share with other teachers. They have designed a path online to motivate and encourage other educators. Isn’t it time we took a page from their book and used innovative and fresh ways to motivate them?
3.Teachers are overworked. “Must be nice to have summers off” is what most non-educators would say. Sure, teachers are not physically teaching children during the summer months, but I can promise you that they’re working. Workshops, curriculum mapping, tutoring programs – this is what a teacher’s summer looks like. Plus, stagnant pay requires many teachers to work a part-time summer job to keep up with the economy.
4. Teachers are retiring. In many districts, awards are given to retiring teachers who have dedicated 35+ years of service to the profession. However, a trend of teachers retiring at the first chance possible is sweeping the nation; you will be pressed to find a large group of teachers with 35 years of service. If they are not retiring, they are just simply leaving. Teachers resigning due to various circumstances is increasing, while the college graduates majoring in education decreases. They are fleeing! Can we commit to a cause to help keep teachers?
5. Your children need to understand the importance of appreciating anyone and everyone who ‘adds’ to their lives. Seeing you appreciate their teacher will show them that their teacher is just as important as that doctor who makes them well whenever they fall sick or that engineer who designed the car that brings them to school everyday. Yes, they will learn that their teachers are just as deserving of their awe and appreciation. 
So moms, what have you done to appreciate your child’s teacher today? Do share with us…
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