From One Teacher To All Teachers – 100 Thank-You’s

Today is World Teacher’s Day, so I want to put out an appreciation post to all of the wonderful teachers out there.

If you are reading this, chances are you know and appreciate the incredibly difficult job teachers have. We are expected to teach content, but at the same time teach students how to be good member of society in every possible way, all while being held accountable by people who aren’t teachers in a system they have created. It is a demanding, often thankless job, requiring a level of mental, physical, and especially emotional output that is in the extreme – so much so that there is a thing called Teacher Burnout, a thing that is not researched, discussed, or highlighted in many other professions.

Teachers far too often receive all of the criticism (it seems like we are directly to blame for any and all societal issues in some way or another). The media likes to paint teaching with an extremely negative, blame-ful brush; rarely do you ever see anything in the media that is positive about teaching or education. Sometimes you see articles praising individual teachers who go ‘above and beyond’ for their students, but even these can come across as a dig, making it seem like all of the other teachers don’t go ‘above and beyond’.

So I’d like to dedicate this post to all of my fellow teachers out there. You are AMAZING. You fight hard every day to give students an education, even when they, their families, and society at large are resisting. There are so many things I am grateful for, as a fellow teacher, as a member of our society, as a former student, and as (hopefully one day) a future parent.

To all the teachers out there, I say thank you.

Thank you for:

  1. Sacrificing your time. I know how many extra hours you put in outside the apparent 9-3 that we all work.
  2. Sitting up late into the evening to mark drafts and assessment, so the students get them back quickly.
  3. Taking the time to organise excursions and school visits, wading through the mountain of paperwork to make sure it all goes smoothly, just so that your students can experience a different side to the content.
  4. Sitting a little longer with the student who is struggling, to make sure they get one-on-one attention, even if it means the rest of the class gets a bit off task waiting.
  5. Giving up your lunch breaks and going home early to tutor students.
  6. Also giving up your lunch breaks and after school time to have the important behaviour conversations with students who are getting off track.
  7. Spending endless hours sifting through data to try to understand your students a bit better.
  8. Re-planning lessons that just don’t feel right, hoping to make them better.
  9. Getting your photocopying done quickly so others can use the copier.
  10. Spending your own money on extra resources out of your own money so that your students can have a better educational experience when the school funds run dry or your requests are not approved.
  11. Buying each other cups of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate on your way in, because you know that it will be a little ray of joy for that teacher who might be having a hard day.
  12. Participating in the school charity events, spending your own money and time so that the students can see a good social role model.
  13. Dressing up on holidays to bring some fun to the classroom.
  14. Sharing ready-made lessons, knowing it will make other teachers’ lives a little easier.
  15. Finding great memes to include in your lessons.
  16. Putting up with every new scheme, acronym, and best-practice that middle-management discover.
  17. Re-writing entire curriculum plans when the government decides it needs to be different.
  18. Spending hours on YouTube finding that perfect video to compliment the lesson.
  19. Running extra-curricula clubs and activities so students can explore other avenues and express other interests.
  20. Giving up your evenings, nights, and weekends to take students on extended excursions and camps.
  21. Calling home to involve parents in their children’s education.
  22. Dealing professionally with difficult parents.
  23. Listening to each other’s ranting and raving about everything from the naughty students, to the newly increased workload, to the blisters you got from your new shoes.
  24. Having long conversations about the students you share, so you can all understand them better.
  25. Sharing your chocolate in the staff room.
  26. Helping to organise cover work when a colleague is absent.
  27. Organising decent cover for when you’re away.
  28. Sharing what you learnt at a PD session, so we can all better our practice.
  29. Also sharing when things go wrong, so we don’t make the same mistakes.
  30. Taking the naughty student out of our class so we can continue the lesson without their disruptions.
  31. Organising social events so we can all remember that we are people too.
  32. Also drifting away during long meeting.
  33. Making sure there is nothing in each other’s teeth after lunch, or pointing out problems with outfits, to avoid awkward lesson situations.
  34. The tissues and sympathy at the end of a particularly bad day.
  35. Celebrating particularly good days.
  36. Sharing in our pride when students do something unexpected and great.
  37. Helping each other to create seating plans – sometimes you don’t realise bad combinations that others might have already tried.
  38. Scouring the news sites for current articles related to the content.
  39. Keeping an eye out on local events for anything that might enrich your lessons.
  40. Understanding when the students are in an odd mood, and adapting your lesson accordingly (yep, you’re all hyper today, so let’s go outside to learn about photosynthesis…).
  41. Understanding when staff are in an odd mood, and letting them do their thing without too much judgement.
  42. Letting the students know that even though sometimes the people in their home lives don’t care about their education, you do.
  43. Also showing them that you care about them as a person, particularly when it is apparent that they don’t get that sort of care outside of school.
  44. Showing students when you are proud of their achievements, even if they are still leaps and bounds behind the rest of the class.
  45. Extending the students who are ahead of the rest of the class, so they can keep challenging that brain.
  46. Having personal conversations with students who come to you for advice on everything from assessments, to relationships, to first jobs or cars.
  47. Showing students that you are a person too, not just a teaching robot with no feelings or life outside of your job as a teacher.
  48. Keeping up with the tabloids so you know the super important thing that happened to The Biebs last week.
  49. Watching vines so you know what the students are on about when they say or do apparently random things.
  50. Bringing extra hair-ties to the lab, so no one burns their hair off accidentally.
  51. Sharing goss about the students you both teach.
  52. Finding out goss from siblings, and passing it along.
  53. Pointing out students’ quirks so you can tease them (in a appropriate, goodhearted way of course!) together.
  54. Keeping running jokes going, even if you didn’t know about them (why yes, Miss and Miss are definitely related, I’m pretty sure they’re sisters or twins actually…).
  55. Inviting each other to your class parties when you know they have a spare and get along well with your class.
  56. Offering different perspectives and ideas on content delivery.
  57. Sharing great websites, books, videos, movies, etc.
  58. Camaraderie in the staff room – we are all in this together.
  59. Supporting each other with difficult students and situations.
  60. Knowing when to lean in with behaviour support, and not doing it when it will only undermine the original teacher.
  61. Trusting the word of each other over the word of the student in the first instance.
  62. Getting to the bottom of sticky situations and passing on vital information.
  63. Passing along tickets and items you no longer need.
  64. Sharing information about sales, particularly on classroom and staff room items.
  65. Baking delicious things for the staff room.
  66. Not eating a heap of super-strong-smelling lunches.
  67. Forgoing the delicious baked goods and instead bringing fruit and vegetables when everyone’s trying to lose a bit of weight.
  68. Reminding each other of important things from the staff notices, when you know they will have forgotten.
  69. Clearing the whiteboard at the end of a lesson, and getting the room back to normal after you change it around.
  70. Going up to the pigeon holes for each other when everyone is super busy in the morning.
  71. Fielding phone calls when they are too busy to take them at the moment.
  72. Jumping into the classroom to cover for someone in an emergency, even when  you have no idea who the kids are or what they’re doing.
  73. Learning about learning difficulties so you can help those students in need.
  74. Not reacting to drama when it is unnecessary.
  75. Reacting appropriately to drama when it is necessary.
  76. Having high, but achievable, expectations of your students.
  77. Crying with the students when they are facing terrible situations, particularly to do with home.
  78. Organising food, clothes, and school supplies for disadvantaged students.
  79. Laughing with them when they make fantastic jokes or do something silly.
  80. Marvelling with them at new-found information.
  81. Learning about the student’s home lives, so you can react appropriately to situations in class.
  82. Teaching students to follow the rules in school, so they are better equipped to follow the rules of the society they live in.
  83. Caring about the students as people, as teenagers, and not just as numbers.
  84. Allowing students to teach you something new every now and then, professionally and personally.
  85. Teaching students how to deal with social situations, especially when they cannot get that form of education at home.
  86. Showing them that it is ok to not be ok, and how to cope.
  87. Caring for the students who are going through emotional issues, particularly to do with grief.
  88. Teaching them the awkward stuff about growing up.
  89. Helping to deal with friendship issues.
  90. Being a constant, steady presence in their lives, particularly when you may be the only stable adult they deal with regularly.
  91. Talking to the students who other students might not talk to often.
  92. Listening to endless stories, pretending to know what they’re talking about when it’s a topic you know nothing about (yes, I definitely did see the game last night…).
  93. Watching a show, reading a book, listening to a new artist, just to be able to have those conversations on a very real level with the students.
  94. Going back to basics and teaching your older classes how to read analogue clocks, or do their times tables, or work out how to read complex words
  95. Taking a genuine interest in their interests.
  96. Inspiring students to think, do, be.
  97. Lighting a flame of interest that leads to career options.
  98. Being a School Mum or Dad, putting up with their crap and still loving them.
  99. Getting students ready for life outside of school, a system that has been the focus of their lives for the past 12 or so years.
  100. Most of all, thank you for caring so damn much.

 


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About the Author:

Emily is a secondary science teacher. She enjoys blogging about her experiences, creating hilarious teaching memes, and drinking tea and wine. You can see more posts from Emily here!

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2 thoughts on “From One Teacher To All Teachers – 100 Thank-You’s

    1. My pleasure, and thank you for reading! All too often the focus is on the negative, so let’s start those conversations to bring back the positives!

      Like

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