High School Teachers Need Love, Too!

Article by Anne Allen
As I stand outside my 1st grade daughter’s classroom with a mason jar collecting single flowers from her classmates, I think about how different this is from the high school scene. “Big kids” from the older grades stop by to give the teacher a quick hug before heading off to the 3rd or 4th grade and I wonder if these teachers know how lucky they are. As a high school teacher, I can tell you the teacher appreciation jealousy is real.

Teacher Appreciation is an interesting time of year. In preschool there are events every day (bring in a flower, make a card, bring a sweet treat, lead a craft, or be a volunteer) and sometimes as a parent it can feel like a bit of overkill. Then it gets to elementary and the events are run by the PTO (lunch or treats in the faculty room) with a few things thrown in (bring a flower, make a card) from the students and the parents lend a hand.

Then you get to high school where the PTO organizes a lunch which is very nice, and we do appreciate it, but we want to hear from the students! This is an area, I believe, where we can all improve. As a school community we should try our best to remember that as the children age, the communication between school and home changes. We, the teachers, get significantly less volunteers. We tend to interact only if there is a problem. We see each other only at parent-teacher conferences, if our schedule allows for that to happen, or possibly an extracurricular event. Of course, teachers and schools at the secondary level can be better at sharing the awesomeness of our students too (but that is a topic for another blog post).

One step to improve this is simple — as this time of year rolls around next year, as parents and teachers, we should remind our students that a simple note goes a long way. A note from a student will stay with us forever, really and truly. I guarantee it will be stuck in a planner, or frequently read book, for those days when we don’t feel like we are making a difference. We will reread it often, and it will remind us why we do what we do.

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