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Simply Human - A Stream of Thought

Welcome to May! Flowers blooming, state testing, restless natives whose schedules have been turned upside down, and oh ya don't forget teacher appreciation week. Don't get me wrong I love teacher appreciation week. I mean who doesn't like being appreciated? My desk full of the cutest little gifts with witty notes. An eraser that says, "I cant erase the mark you've made on me." I'm not saying I'm Michelle Pfeiffer or anything, but if even one child thinks I helped them than that has to count for something.

The thing is I feel as if teachers are being appreciated for the wrong thing. I know what you're thinking, "How selfish of her. A whole week of Facebook memes and sentimental videos dedicated to her profession and she has the audacity to criticize what we appreciate her for?" All I can say is you're right, but just here me out. Teachers are often commended for their ability to be counselors, coaches, arbitrators, advocates, moms, dads, bodyguards, friends and while the list goes on and on, there is something missing. Something that trumps all of the above.

It's the fact that each and every teacher your child has ever had is nothing more than a simple human being living a very human life. I have witnessed my colleagues cope with their very human lives, human emotions, and human problems all while putting a smile on their face and ensuring that your child feels safe, loved and capable.

I'm talking about the teacher that comes into work and leaves her sick child with a family member or sitter to be there in the classroom for your child. Walking in and sitting at her desk, guilt written all over her face trying to hold back the tears, "Why didn't I just call out? I feel terrible leaving him, he was crying for me to stay."

I'm talking about the teacher whose parents are ill and passing. Every prep and lunch break is filled with calling the hospital and asking the principal if it's okay that they keep their phone out on their desk in case there is a turn for the worse. Yet your child would have no idea thanks to the smile on her face reassuring them they are in good hands.

I'm talking about the teacher who's marriage is falling apart due to a spouse with a substance abuse problem. They can barely afford to buy food for their lunch, but they ensure your child has pencils, tissues, and a kind word or laugh everyday.

I'm talking about the teacher who has spent years trying to conceive a child of her own, a teacher who year after year has her own dreams of a child crushed, a teacher who despite that still smiles while looking into the eyes of the children she hopes to have one day.

All these teachers are more than just a teacher. They are very human people who push to the side their very human needs and lives to help develop your child's heart, mind and soul. Not just because it is their job, but because it is a calling. Not everyone can be a teacher. There needs to be a true passion and desire to help educate and develop the children in front of them.

So while I believe that teachers should be appreciated for the many roles they play, I think first and foremost they need to be appreciated for doing the job of a super hero while simply being human. To all the teachers I have had throughout my life THANK YOU. Thank you for making my life just as front and center as your very own.

Originally published on 5/4/21 on a previous blog.

Edited 5/7/23

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