May 8, 2008

Teacher Appreciation Week

You didn’t really think the wife of a teacher would forget her Teacher Appreciation Week post, did you?
Teachers, no matter the schooling system or method, do so much for the children of our society, and in the hustle and bustle of everyday life it can be easy to forget how hard they work. There’s even a tendency among the more jaded of us to think they do it only for the “short” hours and long vacations or to subscribe to the old, “Those who can do, do; those who can’t do, teach,” adage.

In my experience neither is true. Some may very well go into teaching thinking the hours are 7:30 to 3 and those long vacations can be spent lounging around doing nothing, but they usually don’t stay in the profession for long once they discover this simply isn’t the case. Plus, there are many teachers who can “do” with the best of them, but they love sharing their knowledge with others. There’s a feeling of accomplishment upon helping a child understand a concept for the first time you can’t match doing anything else, and it’s compounded for those who stay in the profession long enough for a student to return for a visit after graduation, sometimes bringing their children with them, just to say hello. I remember seeing the look on some of my high school teacher’s faces when such visits occurred, and I can only describe it as a mixture of humility, thankfulness, joy, and awe.

So here’s my small gift to you teachers out there. Below is a short poem written and published way back when I was still a Roper. It is written from the perspective of an early elementary teacher since I’d only taught Sunday School for children kindergarten age and younger, but I’ve found the sentiment is largely the same no matter the age of the student. I hope you enjoy.

Little Eyes

Little eyes that watch me,
little mouths that say what I say,
remind daily of the awesome responsibility
placed in my hands.

To tell them the things I know,
to guide them on their way,
to watch them learn and grow,
my actions become their play.

Little voices that say, "Thank you,"
innocent, giggling smiles,
an earnest wave in passing,
these are a teacher's joys.

* Picture is of Hubby reading to Boo a little over a year ago.

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