Thank A Teacher

I love teachers.

Sure, everyone “loves” teachers, but I LOVE teachers. I am in awe of their patience and grace under the pressure of handling the demands of 15x more kids than I’ve ever had to deal with, FOR SEVEN HOURS A DAY!  EVERY DAY!

My favorite example: I was once visiting my daughter’s fourth grade classroom to take class photos for the yearbook. The class that her teacher team-taught was gathering, very enthusiastically, in the hall for a class trip to the Nutcracker. She came out to greet me, while nonchalantly holding a trashcan that a student had just puked in and simultaneously arranging escorts to take said student to the office and getting students filed off onto the bus.

To me, even just as a spectator, this experience was so traumatic that I’m still writing about four years later.

To her, it was Thursday.

That’s when I truly realized that even when I’m not there to witness it, teachers are addressing every conceivable combination of child-related issue you can imagine at least a hundred times a day.

And then there are the non-child-related issues: the parents, the administration, the money they have to take from their own pocket to care for their students.

And then there are the truly unimaginable situations: The fire drills. The earthquake drills. The tornado drills. The gunman drills.

And the situations when those drills are not drills.

When we see the tragic accounts about school shootings like yesterday’s in Florida, no one is every surprised to see headlines like, “Geography Teacher Died Saving His Students.” We know that in addition to all the gifts of love, patience and learning that our teachers give our kids every single day, that they would not think twice when it comes to protecting their kids from danger.

Because they are their kids.

Quantitatively, they spend more waking hours with our children than we do every day. Qualitatively, they likely know as much about the inner workings of each of those kids as their parents do, if not more.

I hope that I will never have to say “Thank You” to a teacher for giving that ultimate gift of risking their life for one of their students, but I will use this tragedy as a reminder to give thanks to teachers for the gifts that they give our kids every day.

I hope you will too.


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