An Open Letter to Teachers
Dear Teacher –
First, let me say just how much I appreciate the time and effort you put in to shaping the minds of our young people. I know that in a day and age when education is not valued by every family, it is not an easy job.
I also know that you spend a large amount of time (outside of school) preparing materials to make your lesson plans as interesting as possible, and that you spend a lot of your personal money on things you need for the classroom – especially with so many budget cuts.
The appreciation that I feel for a good teacher is one that cannot be described in words. I have three children moving through the educational system with immense success and I know that it would not be possible without each and every one of you that has given your time and made it your profession to educate.
I also know that you get frustrated from time to time. That class sizes have become too large, spreading your expertise thin, and there are lots of parents who do not do their share at home to support the educational foundation that you are laying down.
I saw firsthand, in your classroom the other day, how you had to spend an immense amount of time disciplining ONE specific child who was acting badly in lieu of supporting the ones that were behaving.
You were forced to wear both the parenting hat and the teaching hat at the same time, putting you in a remarkably frustrating position.
Then, due to LAWS that say NO ONE child can be denied food rewards in the school system, instead of punishing one child by taking away his cupcake treat of the day, all the kids lost the prize of eating cupcakes for snack.
I also appreciate the fact that you keep Fruit Loops and Capri Suns on hand in your classroom each and every day because so many kids come to school without an adequate snack. One day, it may be me who forgets to sends a snack and I hate to think of my child having nothing to eat.
And, I saw that you posted after school tutoring hours on your classroom door so that every child would have the same opportunity to succeed on standardized testing. I feel sorry that so many teachers today are getting raises and bonuses based on test performance, which can in NO WAY be ONLY a direct result of your instruction. How overly responsible you must feel at times. And I appreciate your willingness to take your personal time to make sure every child learns the skills they need to learn. I don't think you get paid overtime for that, do you?
I also tearfully watched the other day as you helped the little girl who was having trouble making friends to meet a playmate on the playground so she could feel like part of the group. That little girl was my daughter – and the 3 minutes of time you spent noticing her and helping her in this small way may have changed her life forever. So thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I know that on some days you may not feel like your work, effort, and worry about every child in your class is appreciated. But it is. I know that many parents, just like myself, often take for granted the services that you are providing our children. But not today. I also know that the year 2012 presents often precarious laws and regulations about how and what you teach in your classroom that may limit how well you feel you are teaching. But I think YOU are doing a fabulous job!
One thing I know for sure as a parent is that I couldn't do what you do! And I am extremely thankful that YOU chose to pursue one of the most difficult (and probably rewarding) careers.
My child's life is better because YOU are in it.
A Mother to 4 Children