This week is Teacher Appreciation Week at our local elementary school. That means we are all taking an extra moment to show our appreciation in words and in deeds, to the amazing, devoted, creative, loving and extremely patient teachers who have committed their careers to shaping little human beings. While my kids were writing their thoughts of thanks on a boat-shaped cut out yesterday, it made me thankful that I've had the opportunity to work in my kids' classrooms and see first-hand how incredible their teachers are. I specifically remembered an encounter I had with my youngest son's teacher when he was in the second grade.
It was Friday afternoon, the bliss of the approaching weekend was beginning to settle, and I was outside my son's classroom waiting for the dismissal bell. Once the shrill ring pierced the air, I made my way into Mrs. A's classroom to collect my sweet 2nd-grader. As I entered the sea of carefree kids, I looked toward Mrs. A and offered her my wishes for a great weekend. Noah gathered his belongings at my feet when it happened...she gave me "the look."
This look, I'm sure you've witnessed it, or been the subject of it, can mean one of two things. One - my little person did something offensive that Mrs. A needs to share with me, or two - I'm being recruited. On this particular Friday, it was the latter.
So why did that look terrify me? Why did my flight response elevate to such high levels that I was almost willing to abandon my boys in order to escape the assignment? Because, though I hate to admit it, at times I'm selfish.
Moms, I'm sure you can relate. We juggle the needs of the members of our families, we manage complex and ever-changing households, many of us work in various degrees outside of the home, we volunteer at school, at church, for our charities of choice, and want to be present and productive as only we can be. And occasionally, we just want a quiet weekend. At that moment, that's where I was coming from.
Like elementary teachers across the country, Mrs. A has more creative ideas and well intentions than the district budget and the hours in her day, can support. That's where we come in - the able-bodied and available parents, those of us blessed enough to volunteer in our kids' classrooms and assist their teachers in the monumental task of educating our little scholars.
That Friday, my selfishness was overruled by my interest to assist. Mrs. A needed my help with a project that wouldn't quite fit in her already overburdened schedule of planning, assembling, creating, grading, assessing, leading and ultimately growing smart and good little citizens. Despite my initial reaction to run for the hills, I offered to help, honored to even be trusted with the task. Even Noah was proud of my relationship with his teacher...he LOVES Mrs. A! The benefit far outweighed the minor expense of my time.
So, for all that Mrs. A and dedicated teachers everywhere do for our children, they deserve our gratitude. During this week, and throughout the year, I suggest you find a way to communicate your appreciation, with a simple "Thank you," a thoughtful note, a quick email, or happily running to a teacher in need, especially when you get "the look."