Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Thank you for leaving all the wonderful comments yesterday. They truly helped and I had a great day. I stayed on track with eating and I got 2 great workouts in. My run was my best yet in terms of distance and I got to go to Zumba! *** How often do you say "thank you?" *** This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. Some schools go all out and work with parents to show appreciation for the work that teachers do day in and day out. Some parents make a point to buy a gift, write a card, make some sort of gesture to thank the teachers that care for their children each day. As I type this, I've got a pot of Mega Veggie Chicken Noodle Soup simmering on the stove. We are doing daily pitch ins (pot lucks) with a different "course" each day. Tomorrow is soup and salad. Is it possible to really and truly thank teachers? Is homemade soup enough? Is a heartfelt note, handwritten, enough? *** Mrs. Kanatzer is the first teacher I really remember. She was my second grade teacher. I remember that she was exceedingly kind and gentle and sweet and I loved how peaceful she seemed. I had a 5th grade teacher who celebrated the day my dad adopted me. Her gesture of kindness has stayed with me my entire life. In elementary school, I also had a principal who suspected that something was wrong in my life. He tried- kindly, of course- to convince me that he was a safe person to tell things. He tried to let me know that I could come and talk to him at any time about anything. I remember being "sick" once again in the nurse's office and he came in and sat beside my cot. He was trying to get me to open up but my secret was too great to even whisper. But in that moment, I loved him. And I still look back and think of his tenderness and care and it brings a tear to my eye. In junior high, I had a math teacher who met with my parents and told them that I had potential and that I was failing in the public school environment and that they should consider private school for me. They did. And it changed my future. In high school, I had a guidance counselor who saved my life. In high school, I had a teacher that taught me to love Algebra. In high school, I had a teacher that taught me to write... with passion and honesty. In college, I had a theatre director and a show choir teacher who taught me that I had talent. In college, I had a professor who taught me about equality and fairness and the treatment of minorities. *** The more I think about the teachers that were part of my childhood, my adolescence, my young adulthood... the more memories come flooding back of good times and bad. I often wonder what it would be like to go back and see those teachers again and explain to them why I was different. Ask them what they noticed about me, what they might have suspected about me. And I want to thank them. My life growing up was hard. School wasn't so much a place of learning for me as it was a safe place that had food and friends and fun. How do you thank someone for being your escape? For being a ray of hope, of shelter? For teaching you about compassion and kindness and concern? *** My daughter is 5. She has been in daycare most of her life. Moving her to a preschool was a big deal for us. I had to develop a new trust in new people. I had to trust them with one of the most precious blessings in my life. Given my own past... trusting that caretakers will not hurt my child, that they will protect my child, that they will be watching out for her best interest... it's a big deal. A really Big Deal. We are fortunate to have a daycare provider, Lisa, that we love and trust. Zach has been with her since he was born and Teagan had been with her for 2 years before going on to preschool. Forming a solid relationship with Lisa taught me how to trust someone else with the care of my children. *** How do you ever thank the people who did more for you than you can even put into words? How do you thank the people who teach your child, love your child, teach you about your child? By making them soup? Buying a gift card or a candle or chocolates? Writing a card? Drawing a picture? Or just saying... Thank you.
You can also thank them by writing a lovely, thoughtful, and inspiring post while you make soup.
Very nice post. I think you thank them by telling them -- in a post, in a handwritten note, in person -- what they've done for you. And by paying it forward.
I once told David's 5th grade teacher that she was worth her weight in gold. And she was.
One of the ways I say thank you is by volunteering at the school, a lot. Apparently I'm so grateful that I keep saying yes to things against my better judgment ;-)
Thank you for reminding me... I am going to do something kind. I just have to think of what.
Just letting a teacher know that you heard them, whether it was about course content or a greater life lesson, is a big deal. We spend so much time repeating ourselves to the same students, that it's inspiring to know that our words stuck. And to know that they mattered; that they caused some small change in one person--well, that's why we teach.
The soup is wonderful, gifts are touching (I still have the first one I ever received), and they both definitely make teachers feel appreciated--but the words are the most powerful.
BTW, my heart broke a little for that poor principal who could see your suffering, but never had the chance to really help you. What a good man.
I had a 5th grade teacher who was very influential in my elementary school years. Her name was Mrs. Metil. She loved Longfellow and Conjugating verbs- and above all else, she LOVED Tom Sellick (she would say Seelick though).
Years later- after college- I worked in cable ad sales- and got a promo package for a show TS did - and I thought of her. Looked up her info (actually wasn't sure she was still alive)- and sent her a letter with a promo pin from that package. She wrote me a letter back about how nice it was to be remembered.
Point? I think saying anything at all- in any form possible- is more thanks than they often get. And we all need to do it more often for the teachers that really get it (and give it!).
Being partially homeschooled and then changing schools frequently due to frequent moves, I rarely felt connected to teachers. Which is strange, since the majority of my life has been spend recieving education.
This post is a wonderful way to say thank you. And I think homemade soup is perfect, as well.
I love all your stories about teachers. I wonder if you could look up some of them and write them letters. I bet those letters would be prized possessions.
Such a beautiful post, Liz. This makes me think about some of my teachers, good and bad.
I've never taught school, but I have taught Sunday School, and from that experience I learned that knowing someone appreciated my efforts was the best thanks I could get.
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