Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Day Part Deux: Just Deux It.

                Bad Shakespearean Note: Yesterday was Teacher Appreciation Day. I wrote a blog post that I will admit wasn’t very good. Believe it or not, I do set deadlines for myself, and I ended up writing something I wasn’t proud of and I put it up there because I was out of time and I wanted to post something. Often, that’s my downfall, the need to post that magical something as if I was writing a major newspaper and the world stops spinning because I don’t have anything in there. But it wasn’t good, and I’m not proud of it. So… do over! I could just delete it… It wasn’t posted on Facebook or anything like that, but I want to keep it up there for now as a reminder of what happens when I’m not really paying attention. However, today is my tribute to Teacher Appreciation Day.
                Happy Teacher Appreciation Day, everyone! It’s that magic time of year when the sun is supposed to appear (but is still hiding for some reason… will the GROUNDHOG EVER BE RIGHT?), when the pools start to fill up, and when students really start to focus on the fact summer grows ever closer, and they’ll be that much close to doing whatever it is they want for three whole months. So it’s kind of funny that they put Teacher Appreciation Day in May, rather than I don’t know in September when Teachers need to be reminded the most that, hey, we appreciate you. Especially going into the school year.
                But, I don’t make the laws (yet) so until then, we have Teacher Appreciation Day in May! Go grab your free burrito! Or whatever other service is offering free food to teachers today. Yay! Remember, we like you, so please, if you get into trouble there’s no reason to become a murderous drug overlord. Unless it can make compelling television. Then I can write about it.
                Last year I focused my post on teachers that influenced me. Those are still around, and they still influence me, but I think it’s important that we focus on WHY it’s important to appreciate teachers.  I just read a “hilarious” joke card that thanks teachers who have a rough life because they work until three, nine months out of the year. I guess that “hilarious” joke left out the fact that teachers often work much later grading, making lessons plans, dealing with angry parents, tutoring, assisting in whichever after school activities they help with, and then packing it all in a bag to take home over the weekend if they need to. And those whole three months off seem a lot shorter when you’re called in for professional development and to keep your license current. Hey, Mr. CEO Man… when did you have to go back to school to keep your CEO license current so you can CEO more? Or do you just yell at your assistant to get you coffee? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
                Now I know not everyone feels that way, but since I started this blog, I have concentrated more on what going into teaching is going to mean, not just in the sense that I’ll be molding young minds. No, also in what the place of a teacher is in society. And you see, the sad thing is, it’s not good. I see so much disrespect, so much vilifying, (people were furious over the “rich” teachers protesting in Chicago, but the NHL seasons’ been largely unaffected by the lockout), so much… anger towards teachers. I recently had to unfriend someone on Facebook because they had a nice lengthy post about how teachers were all really running indoctrination centers and brainwashing kids. Yes, that’s the extreme. But really? To Teachers? Who just want to… you know… teach?
                I think it’s important that we remember why teachers are there. Teachers are there to inspire kids to be more than they can. Teachers do so much more than “work until three nine months out of the year.” Good teachers are the reason you’re doing what you’re doing. Good teachers are the reason you can read this. Good teachers are the reason I started writing this. What’s the point of bashing them or putting them down? Great teachers inspire. Great teachers help contribute to the person that you want to be. Let’s remember that today. Let’s also remember it tomorrow. And the next day.
                So, let’s all take this opportunity to say thank you to that teacher in our life that made a difference. Let’s take an opportunity to stand up to someone on the street who’s telling you that teaches are lazy or make too much, and remind them that teachers are important to everyone. Take this opportunity to remember that new episodes of Breaking Bad start this summer. Wait… wait… no, nevermind I did want to say that.
                And to those teachers who have helped me out so much… thank you. All of you.

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