Wednesday, May 7, 2014

2014 Teacher Appreciation Week: A Reflection

     I am not sure if you knew, but Teacher Appreciation Week is here.  This year we celebrate teachers between May 4-10 in the United States of America. Many countries in the world celebrate this day to thank and honor teachers for the work that they do in educating their children.

As a private music instructor, I can say that the families I work with have been appreciative of what I do.  It is encouraging that there are so many parents that desire to honor teachers.  But I can tell you that the appreciation that means most to me is not during Teacher Appreciation Week.  As a teacher I feel honored by the respect parents show me whenever we interact by how seriously they take my perspectives, principles and attitude toward their family.  I do not know how it is in other countries, but educators are not the celebrities, stars, or the heroes in society here in the United States of America. The media focuses in on movie stars, sports heroes and artists, that is where a lot of the attention and money goes.

Thus, parents more intentional to teach themselves and their children to honor teachers, because it is easy to take them for granted.  I can tell you that I have taken and still take for granted the teachers in my life, and that is in part because of the society I live in.  This means that it is easy to look at a teacher as a waiter at the restaurant whom is there to please you, but that is not how I or many teachers approach our profession.  To me, teaching is a privilege and a serious calling to invest in other lives, molding their minds, character, attitudes, and view of the world.  This seriousness is done much of the time with lots of joy and fun.  I seek to engender a passion in my students to be better in character and in music.

So, how can you show appreciation to the teachers in your life? Speak respectfully, be patient, be kind, take them seriously, encourage them, point out the good things that are coming out of their teaching.  You can do it face-to-face (best way), call them, write them a letter, send them a card, or even email them.  I highly recommend that you be specific with your appreciation and encouragement.