I wasn’t always the best student. Honestly, when I was younger, I had a hard time sitting through those long days at school. When I look back at them now I can laugh at myself for being an antsy student with the tendency to daydream while in class. I also see how so many of my teachers have stuck in my memories after all these years. It’s funny to think about the things we remember. My guess is that those memories are some of the life events that shape who we all are.
It is Teacher Appreciate Week and today is National Teachers Day, so let’s take a moment and talk about the importance of the educators in our lives. Imagine overseeing 20+ people at a time. Wait, let’s clarify that. Imagine overseeing 20+ kids at a time. No small job. But it doesn’t stop there. Teachers are not just making sure the students are in their classes, they are trying to educate the students, they are trying prepare the students for the future.
We could go into all the obstacles that make the job of these teachers even more difficult than it already is, but we would be here a while. Let’s just say that there is no shortage of examples that add to the stress and difficulty of teachers. Being a teacher is a high stress, high responsibility, extremely demanding, and (possibly) very emotional job. So, we would expect high pay, good benefits and endless amounts of respect, right? If only that were true.
Why would anyone choose to work such a demanding and stressful job while their pay and benefits are continually cut and their curriculum and teaching ability continually restricted?
This is only my opinion so it is open for debate, but I see teachers as one of the most important roles in society. They have the duty of educating our future. They are responsible for preparing the next generation to be productive members of society. They spend their days with our children and very often take their stressful days home with them.
We should be taking care of our educators the same way they take care of our future. We should be investing in them the same way they are invested in our children. We should be treating them with the respect that they and the position they hold deserve.
On a personal note, I want to thank Mr. Al Sundine and Mrs. Connie Heinlein. They are two amazing teachers I had at Negaunee High School. They probably don’t realize it but they had a huge impact on me and my time in school. Mr. Sundine always had an entertaining story to tell in his lessons. His class was a journey. He would open with a smile and would bring you in with a relaxing and welcoming line, and then the trip would begin. I will always remember his memorable chuckle that would find its way into every class.
Mrs. Heinlein was the teacher that quietly pushed you. While I may not have been the best student I think she found a way to make everyone feel like they were. She had a youthful connection to everyone with an ability to shrug off disrespect like it was no big deal, and her subtle sense of humor and was always something that I looked forward to. Obviously, I owe so many more teachers a thank you for the time they have put into me and all the other students out there. So, thank you! Please find some time today to thank one of those teachers.