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An Open Thank You Letter to Teachers

Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, activists, americans, children, culture, dishonesty, education, ethics, family, freedoms, government, politics, religion, rights, society )

- 2169 days ago -
Another school year is over, and there's a good chance you haven't been thanked for another year's hard work. That might actually be quite an understatement. Not only may you have failed to receive real appreciation for your work, your salary and-->

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Kit B (276)
Friday June 15, 2012, 4:58 pm

Another school year is over, and there’s a good chance you haven’t been thanked for another year’s hard work. That might actually be quite an understatement. Not only may you have failed to receive real appreciation for your work, your salary and benefits may have been cut while your hours were increased. You may have had more students to teach and more requirements to fulfill. You may not even be sure you’ll be teaching next fall, depending upon budget cuts, even though you are a good and dedicated teacher.

It’s possible that you have had a few students thank you, tell you that something you taught them, did for them, helped them learn was important and meaningful and changed them and inspired them and meant the world to them. It’s also possible few students have taken the time to thank you, because they may be so stressed and frustrated by endless tests, long hours sitting in a chair learning things that don’t seem relevant and important to them, or by a couple of other teachers, administrators or fellow students who’ve demoralized, bullied, scared, or bored them to tears making them hate school despite all you have done.

So if you haven’t received the thanks you deserve, I want to thank you publicly now. And by “you” I mean those teachers who love to teach and do so with all their heart and soul to provide their students with what is important and necessary and inspiring and beautiful and meaningful and true and good and honest. I mean those teachers who care about kids and empower them and ignite their passions and help them achieve their big dreams. I mean those teachers who demand that their students question everything, including what they themselves teach, to ensure that they become the best critical and creative thinkers they can be. I mean those teachers who listen and care. I mean those teachers who are passionate about the subjects they teach and who cannot help but impart that passion.

want to thank you for doing the most important work of all – educating the next generation. The real hope for our world, for creating peace, for solving our entrenched problems, for developing sustainable, humane, and healthy systems in technology, farming, economics, production, transportation, defense, and so on, lies with you – how well you provide your students with the knowledge, tools, and motivation they need to be able to create such systems. And you deserve extra gratitude for doing what you can to make your curricula serve such ends when standardized bubble tests demand something else entirely from you and often hinder the greater goals for a truly educated populace that you aspire to provide.

Thank you for being willing to work long hours for modest pay and minimal status when you surely could be making more money with less stress and greater prestige. Thank you for buying supplies when the school ran out of money and extending yourself far beyond your job description to help and mentor your students outside of the classroom. Thank you for trying to figure out every day how to manage the needs of so many children and for loving the ones who are hard to love because they make your days so difficult.

Thank you for modeling patience, honesty, courage, perseverance, wisdom, responsibility, generosity, and a commitment to lifelong learning to the best of your ability each and every day in your classroom.

Most of all, thank you for everything you have done and will continue to do to create a better future. There is no other profession that so directly shapes the world of tomorrow. Thank you for teaching.

Have a good summer

by by Zoe Weil | Common Dreams |

Jason S (50)
Friday June 15, 2012, 6:40 pm

Paul B (83)
Saturday June 16, 2012, 8:52 am
Wow, look at Texas -

Teacher salaries by state (click here)

Sheryl G (360)
Saturday June 16, 2012, 6:51 pm
In my book, the most noble profession IS Teacher. I have always been dismayed and disappointed at how little they are paid and recognized for what they do, as they prepare the next generation to take the torch for our Country. Yet who do we pay the largest sums of money to? Entertainers, athletic sports, have tended to be paid highly in the current times. Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate the skills of a Johnny Depp and people have a good time at the ballgames, but much?

Now we have people, who not that long ago, was making 40 grand a year on Wall Street now making millions a year. Then from 1978 to 2011, CEO compensation increased more than 725 percent, a rise substantially greater than stock market growth compared to the slow 5.7 percent growth in worker compensation over the same period.

Is bad enough we all suffer the lack of growth in our salaries if we were not in the aforementioned, but there has been no greater attack than on the Teachers. I am absolutely mortified at how low this conversation in this Country has stooped. The teacher, whether you be the richest in this Country or the poorest, all have had a teacher in their life.

One may not always need the Fire Fighter, glad they are there if need be, one may not have ever rode an airplane, nor ever watched a football game, but we have all had a Teacher in our life. We are all better for having a teacher in our life. And this is how they are treated this past couple years in particular? I hang my head in shame at my fellow Countrymen who have spoken ill of the teachers.

No, teachers are not perfect, like us all, some are more capable than others, but to group them all in one breath in such disdain as I'm hearing is so wrong. But then much is so wrong in this Country that many days I feel someone dropped me in another Country, for I fail to recognize much in this one anymore. We were not perfect in this Country, but at least I always felt we were striving to do better, now it seems the worse one can be the better one achieves in their endeavors, no matter what that endeavor may be.


Kit B (276)
Saturday June 16, 2012, 7:25 pm

Thank you Dandelion for your thoughtful words about teachers. People rarely say anything nice about the teachers, yet as you said we all have had those in our life. The simple fact that one is able to read this letter means some one taught them how to read. Every time you read, balance your check book, get up and go to work, thank a teacher.

This country is turning on itself, it's very difficult to watch, to listen and to see how many people are supporting ideas and slogans that will only hurt themselves in long run. No, this is not the country it was, and we need to take it back.

Michael T (82)
Saturday June 16, 2012, 9:27 pm
Dandelion and Kit. Both great posts. We are not only turning, as a country turning on ourselves, we are turning on some of the most key and important people in our society. I believe as a teacher that I made a difference in people's lives. Twice a year at graduation I met families who were genuinely delighted to meet me after hearing all manner of things from their children. Folks would come up and ask me how I got so and so to quit chewing her nails, as they had tried so hard for years.

pam w (139)
Sunday June 17, 2012, 1:12 am
If you can read, do math, understand something of history and have favorite books....THANK A TEACHER!

Pat B (356)
Sunday June 17, 2012, 5:20 am
Great article, I loved reading the comments. TY, Kit for this one.

Craig Zimmerman (86)
Sunday June 17, 2012, 6:22 am
Not all teachers deserve thanks. Some teachers actually do tremendous damage to a childs development.

monica r (41)
Sunday June 17, 2012, 10:09 am
Looking back on a year where I was assaulted so often I lost count, including a head injury plus another occasion requiring medical attention, got cussed out daily, got bullied by certain kids, by my principal, and by my governor, spent hundreds of my own dollars for supplies and materials for my students,

but also collaborated with many other caring dedicated teachers, saw my students make large academic gains, and cared about and loved those kids in spite of their behaviors, and the toll they took on my health,

it's nice to feel like somebody appreciates what we do.

Kit B (276)
Sunday June 17, 2012, 10:37 am

Wow! Craig, so because some people in all professions are not doing the best of all possible tasks we should condemn the entire profession? Yes, some teachers are harsh, some do not teach as well as others. I'll stack the good ones next the few "bad apples" any time. People that do not love teaching are usually gone within the first 2-5 years. It will most probably be because they seek more money then teaching, or because of poor peer reviews and mediocre evaluations by principals and others making evaluations. I know far too many that teach after hours for those who need a little extra help, at no charge. We buy our own supplies in far too many states, we get to work an hour earlier then required, we must take classes, and in-service courses throughout the year - even in summer. So till you have walked a mile my shoes, or because you had a teacher that you didn't like; just thank the many others that gave you the ability to write that comment.

Sheryl G (360)
Sunday June 17, 2012, 11:19 am
While it is true Craig, that some teachers have not risen to the heights of their profession, and can even be determental to the children, there are more who are doing amazing things with the children. If our best and brightest gravitate to positions of higher pay and respect then we will not get all teachers who are the pick of the crop so to speak.

There are always going to be those who enter the profession, not so much for the money, but for the love of the profession. But should they not also be compensated for all that they do, why should they have to purchase supplies from their own pay? As the chart reflects that Paul left above, entry level pay for a teacher would be a laughable salary for other professions.

Perhaps more can be done to weed out the teachers who for whatever reason are not performing well and to reward those who are giving so much of themselves with more monetary compensation and certainly respect.
We expect these teachers to be counselors, caregivers, nurses, and a host of other hats while still being the teachers. Many children go to school from homes with a host of problems that society is failing to address, a teacher has all of them sitting in front of him or her.

To speak ill of all teachers because we have known or heard of the horror story teacher, or the teacher who is doing as little as possible, is not fair to the many who work very hard each day. In every profession or job we all can point to the one who doesn't perform well, teachers are not the only ones who have the bad apple here or there. However, if we want our children to have the best start in life, then we should start providing a reason why the best of our people should go into teaching.

Why teach a class of math or science when the knowledge could be used to be hired by NASA for a lot more money, why teach acting if we can aspire to be the next Johnny Depp, why teach when one can go to Wall St and make lavish salaries. We need to entice the bright and energetic people to go into the field of teaching, and right now with the conversation in this Country who would want to go into teaching?

I have known of more young people who wanted to go into teaching that are now thinking of not doing so. My daughters friend went off to college to become a teacher but changed her mind when the teaching bashing started, my own son is rethinking of going into teaching when he gets out of the military, as he said, they are letting teachers go left and right, why go into a field they are laying off. Too many young people I've listened to say, I'd never want to be a teacher, no one seems to like them. This is not a good conversation we have going in this Country, and this Nation as a whole will suffer because of it.

Sheryl G (360)
Sunday June 17, 2012, 11:28 am
Didn't mean to repeat some points in my comment Kit, that you had stated, I was typing mine and hadn't yet seen yours.

Rebecca Y (26)
Sunday June 17, 2012, 3:12 pm
I also want to thank the unsung heroes in the classrooms, those brave souls that tackle the full-inclusion student and follow them around all day making sure they are not disruption in the classroom. I want to thank the mentors who give of their time to be there one hour a week and more for the students who need a mentor. I want to thank the volunteers who show up for every occasion and bring snacks and decorations and all sorts of things to the school. I want to thank the PTA members for always being there too. Without a multitude of helpful people, some paid but mostly volunteers, teachers would have a tougher time than they do and I want to thank all the teachers who go out of their way to help a child. It isn't easy with so many in the classroom and not all disruptive children have a helper. Let's hope next semester we really do make education a priority because by the looks of things, only the top administrators are getting paid plenty!

Kit B (276)
Monday June 18, 2012, 9:23 am

Very true Becky. Though at some schools you can not get a volunteer to help out because the parents or grandparents are just too busy working to put food on the table and put a roof over their children's heads. Some schools have an active even social PTA/PTO at other schools there is almost no attendance, for the same reasons. People will say that the parents don't care. I say they care very much, what many do not have are the knowledge or tools to aid their children in being good students. Compare the size of the largest high school in a given district and the administration building will be larger, often the clerks paid more then the teachers. Most acknowledge the business of teaching needs very little administration and that money could be better spent repairing schools, building additions where needed, buying the supplies that aid in teaching...I could go on about the better ways we can improve things. Charter schools are held up as the new model of great schools...just don't scratch that surface.

Kerrie G (116)
Monday June 18, 2012, 11:48 am
Noted, thanks.

Robert O (12)
Monday June 18, 2012, 1:05 pm
Thanks Kit!

Janet G (0)
Monday June 18, 2012, 1:20 pm
Thanks for the article.

Ann B (60)
Monday June 18, 2012, 7:38 pm
noted - thanks for the article...
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