Photo provided by the author.

If there was one profession that did not need a day or week to be appreciated, it would be those in education, and especially teachers.

Now, I am not just saying this as a son of a teacher. But, how many of us have become quasi-teachers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? How many times have you found yourself wondering how underappreciated teachers have been and just how difficult their tasks are?

When we think of a teacher’s job, we often think too simplistic. We think that their only job is to teach. However, that is just the beginning. They are molding and creating the future one child at a time, yet they do not have the luxury of a one child at a time approach. The classrooms are over capacity. They are managing conflicting personalities, different learning styles, and teaching children based off a core curriculum without much flexibility.

Now, maybe you’ve experienced this during your life. Maybe you have coached a team, managed a group project, or run a business. Yet, with the aforementioned examples, there’s at least an iota of participant willingness to be there. Most children do not want to go to school every day, and on the day that one child does, the other majority does not. Yet, teachers still find a way, every day, to get the mission accomplished.

Teachers become designated as the manager, the shoulder to lean on, and of course the teacher. But their teachings do not stop in the classroom. Many times over, they find themselves showing their students how to become adults, intervening on bullying, and helping the students of need. Because for the student that comes from a broken home, school isn’t just a place for learning, but it’s an escape; not only from their home but a ticket to a better life. Teachers leave a lasting impression on every student.

I remember to this day my favorite teacher, my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Burney. As a shy and reserved child, it took her investing more than classroom time to bring out my true potential.  As a child who felt that many people overlooked or did not care, the effort she provided, instilled a level of confidence that allowed me to succeed.

This example is not a one-off story. Teachers like this do not stop at Mrs. Burney. They are everywhere. Their workday doesn’t end when the bell sounds. And they deserve more than a week of appreciation. I struggle with the perfect idea of how to show my appreciation for teachers, but for now, I will start with this, thank you.

Thank you for nurturing and providing us with the tools to accomplish anything and everything.

The author and his lifetime favorite teacher – his mom.