Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Start Today

I have written more than a few Teacher Appreciation Week blog posts. This year the thought of it seems ludicrous. Teachers have endured the worst year of their professional careers while being lambasted on social media at the same time. They have worked longer and harder while being called selfish and lazy.

So now it’s Teacher Appreciation Week. Thanks a lot. Have a donut.

Not so fast, folks. I’m talking to those of you who have made teachers’ lives miserable during the pandemic. You don’t get to send in some muffins and go on your merry way, no sir.

Maybe this year we should have Teacher Apology Week. It’s about time that teachers got the apologies they most certainly have coming to them.

  • I’m sorry I said you don’t care about kids.
  • I’m sorry I said you wanted distance learning because it was “less work”.
  • I’m sorry I belittled your union representation.
  • I’m sorry I interrupted your hybrid learning lesson to argue and complain.
  • I’m sorry I treated your health concerns as inconsequential.

That’ll do for starters.

Of course it’s highly unlikely that the people who actually said these things will have a genuine change of heart and have the bravery to face the teachers they maligned. It’s far easier to buy a gift card and avoid any personal self-examination.

The parents who have been supportive and tried to partner with teachers during a horrifically difficult time are the ones who have been showing teacher appreciation all along. It wasn’t easy for you, and you knew it wasn’t easy for teachers, either. You understood that parents and teachers share a common humanity and that, during a pandemic, many responsibilities would need to be shared.

Believe me, teachers notice and are grateful for parents like that. They make days a little easier, lighten a heavy load.

So, it’s Teacher Appreciation Week and again I wonder why we don’t appreciate teachers every day. And, after this year, I wonder why the people who say the worst things about them are protesting loudly that they deserve daily access to those same teachers in a particular way, at particular times, in specific locations. If teachers are so horrible why are you fighting for hot and cold running teachers for your children?

And, if they aren’t so horrible, maybe you could treat them better. Starting today, for example.

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