I think it’s safe to say that it’s no coincidence that Teacher Appreciation Week falls within the same calendar timeframe as Mother’s Day. As such, here’s a shoutout to the educator characteristics I see in all of you which mirror that of effective parenting:
- We never give up on our kids – Even if they’re still grappling with the SAME need to know/research question 2 weeks from when we did a workshop…we don’t give up on them! We have hope for them when others may not.
- Sometimes, we’re harsh on our kids... But only because we love them - We really just want them to grow and be good individuals. So if we’re strict about meeting deadlines, holding others accountable for their actions, or upholding team or class agreements, we know it’s from a place of love in our hearts. We just need to make sure our kiddos know that too!
- We are a guiding light for these li’l guys/gals – We don’t need to spew information at them, or spoon feed them information, but the phrase I most commonly hear from all of you is, “I model that (insert skill, piece of knowledge, or attribute here).” They see what we do (both good and bad) and we’re constantly reminding ourselves to be the source of positive, influential light for our kids.
- We’re inspirational - Not only are we a source of inspiration and encouragement for our students to follow their dreams, but we stand by them every step of the way to guide their learning and boost their confidence as those dreams become reality.
- We’re a lot more than just someone who teaches – We’re a guide, a friend, an enemy, an “extended" family member…
- We’ll celebrate when our kids rise beyond ourselves – We know, as educators, we’re not really going to become financially rich and famous, but our most proud moments are when our students rise above our own expectations, show off a piece of knowledge or a skill we hadn’t known about, and fulfill their dreams even after they’re out of our care. And why are we so proud?! Because, let’s be honest….we helped make them into who they are!
- We always put ourselves second – That’s right… just like your mom who ate the burnt hamburger from the grill so you could have the better burger…. We always put our student’s first. They are our priority. Always.
- We make sure to always do the best we can, admit when we’re not, learn to do better and follow through….
- We let our kids know when they do a good job…
- We “baby proof” our classes and schools well early on so we don’t have to say “No” all the time when they want to get into things they shouldn’t….
- We try to see things from our kid’s point of view. We ask their opinion whenever it’s possible or appropriate….
Obviously I could keep going, but Owen’s waking up from his nap, the rain is stopping (I hope), and we’re gonna go plant a garden (or play “how many times can we try to keep dirt out of our mouths”…we’ll see how this goes…)
Know that from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate all that you do and all that you are for our students across this country (and in Australia). ;) I hope your week of “Teacher Appreciations” will carry you through these last few weeks of the school year and smile at your kiddos when you get to your classroom tomorrow, just like an effective caregiver smiles at their kids at the fresh start of every new day!
Peace, love, and Happy Mother’s Day!