A letter toTeachers Everywhere

Dearest Teacher,

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week! 

Now more than ever, I want you, to know how lucky our students are to have you. You champion the disenfranchised and the marginalized. You corral the stragglers and promote those who don’t see their own greatness (yet). You believe in second chances, and twenty second chances. You are the reason so many students finally realize their own potential. You do this with grace, grit and talent.

In this unprecedented time of online learning, I have witnessed countless acts of so many of you going above and beyond, thinking outside the box, reinventing yourselves professionally, and finding the fortitude to forge on in order to continue to support and serve our students. The successes during this time have certainly outweighed the hurdles. The opportunities to celebrate our students continue, and this is because of you. Virtually every day, there is something new to celebrate. (virtually, both literally AND figuratively). You are the reason we are getting this thing done.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication.  You are appreciated. You are appreciated for every hour, minute, second, phone call, email, waning parent, fallen student, blossoming student, captivating lesson, and graduation walk that you’ve given and fought for. Think of the thousands of lives you’ve single-handedly changed. Not many people can say they’ve altered the course of so many lives in one lifetime. This profession is not something for the faint of heart. As a history teacher, I often liken it to being in battle or “in the trenches”. It takes the heart and mind of a soldier to fight that fight day in and day out. And most people cannot and will not understand what we do or why we do it.

Those who’ve actually been to war speak of a brotherhood; a trust of those around them to do the right thing, to fight, to survive, often sacrificing their own wellbeing. They speak of trusting only that brotherhood with their lives. We are not in a war, nor are we soldiers. Well, not in the conventional senses at least. But we fight a different conflict. We are faced with an enemy unknown, leading our ranks through fog and we fight each day to make sure each one stays with us. Whether I’m speaking of the pandemic, online learning, a state tests, the graduation stage, or just getting a student’s basic needs, we are no stranger to the soldier’s mentality. So WE are a brotherhood. We’re the only ones who “get it”, have seen it, and have lived it. So more than ever, I appreciate you.

Thank you for everything you do and for everyone you do it for.

P.S. On a personal note, this week is a time to thank the teachers who’ve made an impact on your life. My own teachers and professors and now my coworkers are those teachers who’ve made me successful. Thank you for helping me to lead, guiding me when to follow, and inspiring me to be the version of my best self. I’m blessed to work with the teachers who taught me how to be one.

Please share with a teacher 🍎 

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