Dear Teacher Friends,
I appreciate you more than words could ever express. But because I am an English teacher, I do have a few words I have composed that I hope will adequately express the gratitude to the many teachers that I have come to know over the years that have not only been phenomenal colleagues, but wonderful friends, mentors, and family. I have taught in three different public schools. My experience of witnessing teachers do amazing things for their students, their school, and each other has not differed. So I have no doubt in my mind that there are hundreds of thousands of you out there doing these things for your teacher friends, for your schools, and your students this very month. This week. This hour. So thank you…
Thank you for staying up late to pin all that stuff to Pinterest that sparked 35 projects in my under-caffeinated brain that will never get done. I am now in a race with summer itself to finish them all.
Thank you for listening to me gripe for the 28th time this week about that one student. I promise I will stop complaining about it. Until next year.
Thank you for knowing that when I didn’t say good morning to you in the hall it was not because I am angry at you, but that I just had to pee and had exactly 1 minute and 38 seconds left to do so. Crap. 1 minute 12.
Thank you for being an email sounding board before I send something I regret. You are right, the word suck is totally unprofessional. Thank you for reminding me that I do teach middle school, but that is not an appropriate excuse for having a potty mouth.
Thank you for letting that one student sit in your special chair before things got ugly. And for having Oreos. And for having chocolate when the oreos ran out. And for having moonpies for when the chocolate ran out. I really think half the world’s problems could be solved with moonpies and oreos.
Thank you for telling me that there was a very large stain on the back side of my right pant leg that one day. Although I did not have time to go home, I did have time to create a very believable story that involved me jumping in front of a bus to save a student during morning duty. Even though that one kid kept asking if I sat in coffee.
Thank your for bringing me coffee. And breakfast tacos. I also believe the world’s problems could be solved with a good breakfast taco.
Thank you for confirming that although my student’s expository essays might have resembled a comedy version of Macbeth that I am a good teacher. Even though as an English teacher I know that previous sentence is probably horrifically grammatically incorrect. And probably that one. As was that. gah. I’ll stop.
Thank you for providing chocolate for every faculty meeting ever. And for making faculty meetings fun. Can we say oxymoron? See what I did there?
Thank you for listening to me gripe about my own personal children while having problems ten times worse of your own to deal with.
Thank you for supporting me in every tough classroom choice I’ve ever had to make. While making five even tougher choices in your own classroom.
Thank you for making me believe that I was making a difference – even if in reality I was just making noise.
Thank you for banding together in tough times – through babies and marriages and sickness and deaths and administration that we don’t understand and policy that we can’t change.
Thank you for the happy hours, the after hours, the before school chats, and the after school thank God this day is over celebrations.
Thank you for staying at school later than you needed to because you were helping with – the play, in the concession stand, at the dance, with this club or that club. And you volunteered without asking and showed up with food and a smile. You. Are. A. Rockstar.
Thank you for making me the teacher I am today. I would not be who I am today without you. Without all of you out there that I have worked with, who have bent over backward to help in ways that you will never know I hold in my heart. For helping with substitutes while I was at home cleaning up vomit. For helping with room arrangement classroom management advice and all the years of tips and tricks and passing moments that build a career.
Thank you for loving students in a way that is visible enough to teach other teachers how to be like you.
Thank you for making me look forward to each day because working next to you is joyous.
Thank you for giving me a glimpse into the difference that you are making in the lives of your students when I see the adoration and respect in their eyes that you cannot see because all you see is what goals are still left unmet and all you hear is the ticking of the time bomb of summer that will explode your heart when they turn their back and walk out of your class forever.
Thank you for giving me hope. Despite standardized testing and crazy state legislation. Besides dull curriculum and lack of technology. Despite overwhelming technology. In spite of mile long to-do lists and crazy scheduled meetings. And in the face of extreme adversity… you rose above. Every time, every situation, every meeting, every conference, every lesson, every resource… you brought your best. You continue to pour your heart out in a profession that has no answer to why we do what we do.
So with my coffee-mug in one hand, I salute you, my fellow teachers. There could never be a group of humans on this Earth I appreciate more than you. It’s Teacher Appreciate Week… and this teacher appreciates you. So go forth, and do what we do best. Drink coffee and coffee grade papers. Oh, and also change the world. One hour at a time. I love you so.