This week is National Teacher Appreciation Day. Trust me. They need it! This year keeps being labeled as the year a the year of RESILIENCE. I beg to differ. I think this is the year that may change the face of education forever… and most likely not in a good way. This year has been hard on teachers. We have all changed our teaching style and methods, our curriculums, our hours, our class periods, our hopes and our dreams for students, multiple times in one 13 month period. I re-wrote curriculum and lesson plans 4 times this year alone, as we moved from in-person to online only to “hybrid” – meaning we met over Zoom to teach and we created “virtual only” classwork to a mixture of all of it. It’s been so hard to figure out how to keep moving kids forward and yet taking it easy because the situation was beyond their control. It is all crazy. I see my co-workers in the halls and they no longer respond that they are “hanging in there.” Now they barely respond and if they do they only admit they are tired. This school year can not come to an end fast enough. I have worked more hours this year than I have ever worked before. I know my co-workers are in the same boat. And yet, I have to stay away from social media because the majority of the posts I see are people lamenting that we are not doing enough. Really? I don’t sleep. I am up early and at the school by 7:00 am. I don’t walk out of the school until 7 or 8 at night. I skip lunch. I write lessons on Saturdays and sometimes Sundays. I grade when I get home. Most of the time I don’t get to get in bed until after 11. Again, I am confident that many of my co-workers are doing the same. So, today I am grateful for teachers. I am grateful for the teachers who have affected the lives of my kids… Jeff Witt whom more than one of my kids consider family and who at least one of them wants to be just like him when they grow up. Paul Wendring and Greg Craven who have taught my kid to actually like science. Rachel Duncan and Lori Szymanski who have inspire budding writers in my children. Jen Brunning who helped at least two of my kids learn that math wasn’t evil.
Today I am thankful for two dance teachers Janey Jefferson and Jeanette Richards who inspired all of my children in dance… enough so that one of my children wants to dance forever and to teach dance herself.
Today I am thankful for teachers who taught my daughter to sing, like Michelle Peterson and her teachers in college.
Today I am thankful for teachers in Primary, Young Men’s and Young Women’s, in Scouts and in Seminary who helped to reinforce the spiritual development of my kids.
Today I am thankful for the lady that helped teach my kids homeschool art.
Today I am thankful for good friends like my bestie, Joanna, who taught my kids about developing their moral character… and other friends who helped teach my kids to have fun and to play.
Today I am thankful for my parents who helped to teach my kids about bow hunting, and driving, and family fun/loyalty.
The thing is, the older I get, the more I am sure I wasn’t much of a parent and the people who came into my kids lives and taught them all these things and saved them, for that I am thankful.
Today I am thankful for my teachers… my second grade teacher, Ms. Nesting who taught me that it was okay to be me even when I couldn’t read well… Beth and Jon Basham and Mr. Shotwell who taught me to love singing… Sherri Christofferson who taught me to love drama and trusted me to figure out how lighting and sound work and trusted me to run the auditorium for her, thus giving me opportunities to work with road concerts and famous artists… and my chemistry teacher, who I sadly can’t remember her name, who not only taught us how to make banana flavoring, but helped us to make cherry bombs in class… and all my English teachers who taught me to love literature… and Barta, in college, who taught me to trust my instincts in theatre and to act and to direct like a boss… and Rory Scanlon who taught me to draw and to create costumes… and Lee Walker who taught me about the scene shop and to read plans and to buy supplies for the shop and to be a kick butt stage manager… and Janet who taught me how to do stage makeup… and the scene shop foremen who taught me not to be afraid of the table saw… and the paint lead who taught me how to paint anything… and Michel who taught me about lighting…
Today I am thankful for Shirley who tried to teach me how to play the piano.
Today I am thankful for Wade Brown who taught me to love the scriptures in seminary.
Today I am thankful for my dad who taught me how to drive and to work hard and to use tools…
Today I am thankful for my mom who taught me how to read, how to hang up laundry, how to cook and make bread, to sew, to laugh, to be passionate, and about family loyalty.
Today I am thankful for both of my parents who taught me to love the gospel and to love Jesus.
Teachers need more appreciation. They work awful hours. They spend their own money for classroom supplies. They take abuse from parents and students. They do all this and much more that is not talked about because they care about kids and they care about learning.
Today I am grateful for the greatest teacher of all time, the Savior, Jesus Christ, who taught with compassion, who listened, who reached for the one, who taught better and reached more than any other teacher.
What teachers are you grateful for today?