Teachers don’t get much respect. They work endless hours, even though they know they’ll never get rich by doing so. Classroom teachers expose themselves to countless germs to mold young minds and both classroom and cyber school teachers shoulder the brunt of the blame for innumerable problems beyond their control.
Our educators deserve far more thanks than they get. Here are nine great reasons to thank your child’s teacher today. Whether you buy them a small token or say “way to go,” they’ll appreciate knowing you recognize their efforts.
1. They Work in Germ Factories
Do you get sick every time the latest bug circulates the office? It’s impossible to eliminate all germs — but chances are, most of your co-workers don’t wipe their snot under their desks. Kids do — and teachers sometimes inadvertently touch the muck.
How would you feel about wiping boogers from the nose of a child who isn’t yours? Elementary-school teachers do so all the time, even though it puts their health at risk. They also spend a pretty penny on hand sanitizer and tissues. Consider thanking them by making a cold and flu care package basket for their classroom.
2. They Include All Children in the Fun
Imagine if you had to make the holidays special— for 35 children. Guess what? Teachers do so all the time, all while adhering to school guidelines for food and drink in the classroom.
Why do teachers go all out? They know that not every family can afford to make the holiday season memorable for their child. Therefore, they do everything they can to make this time of year special, even when it means opening their pocketbooks a bit wider or finding time after hours to decorate.
3. They Work Long Hours
Do you think teachers have an easy schedule with holidays and summers off? Think again! Teachers work incredibly long hours — 11 hours of overtime per week on average. When they do have time off, they pursue continuing education to keep their certification current and their skills sharp. They spend evenings and weekends grading papers and designing lessons and even cyber school teachers plan live lessons occasionally on top of their digital instruction.
4. They Demonstrate Saintlike Patience
When was the last time your colleague had a bad day — and dealt with their frustration by removing their shoe and throwing it across the room? Teachers deal with this sort of unexpected behavior on a near-daily basis. They can’t react with an understandable, “What on earth are you thinking?” Instead, they need to model appropriate responses.
This process takes the patience of a saint. Think about the last time you had to de-escalate a situation with an unruly adult. It wasn’t easy to calm them down, was it? Now imagine doing the same thing, only with 35 hormonal pre-teens.
5. They Ignore Their Needs
If you work in an office and nature calls, you get up and heed it. However, if you have a classroom full of little ones, you wait — no matter how uncomfortable you are. Teachers can’t leave their classes unsupervised, so they ignore their physical needs regularly.
Many teachers eat their lunches in their classrooms because they open their doors to students who need extra assistance on projects. They welcome youth who face bullying in the cafeteria or who need a listening ear. If you have the means to do so, why not host a catered holiday luncheon for your favorite educator crew? You can pool funds with other parents if you can’t foot the entire bill yourself.
6. They’re Generous to a Fault
Teachers can deduct up to $250 on their tax returns for classroom expenses. However, most educators spend far more than this — many lose track of how much money they invest in supplies. Children always lose pencils, for example. If they want to minimize illness during cold and flu season, they buy canister after canister of disinfectant wipes. Did Little Johnny forget his lunch money again? Many teachers reach into their pockets to ensure he has a meal.
7. They Make Subjects Like Math Fun
Think about the last routine meeting you attended at work. While you might have restrained yourself from throwing spitballs, chances are, your mind wandered at one point. You had a vested interest in paying attention — your paycheck depended on it.
Children have no such incentive to pay attention in class. Therefore, teachers get creative in designing lessons to bring topics like algebra to life. Imagine putting on the best client presentation ever — and then doing it day after day. That takes a ton of dedication!
8. They Remain Optimistic
Do you turn off the news when it gets too depressing? Teachers would like to do the same, but many of them don’t enjoy that luxury. They need to stay up to speed on everything, because budget cuts and school politics directly impact them — and their families. Falling test scores result in educators taking the blame, even when factors like poverty and insufficient early-childhood education programs play a role.
Thank a teacher today by supporting them in your community. Attend school board meetings. Get registered to vote and write letters to the editors of local papers supporting issues that impact educators.
There Are so Many Reasons to Thank a Teacher
There are dozens of reasons to thank a teacher today — this list represents only a few of them. Show the special educator in your life that you appreciate all they do.