Educators Make the World Go Around
May 3, 2019
Educator Appreciation Week is next week. What a wonderful time of the school year to thank our staff for all of their work with our children, in a variety of capacities. It takes a special kind of person, with a special kind of skill set to want to work in the education field. It is a profession, that more times than not, has been influenced by another person in the profession. We often hear stories when we’re interviewing candidates and ask them to respond to the question of why they want to be a teacher, or a school social worker, paraprofessional, or speech pathologist. The answer is often that a family member is also a teacher or works in education in some way, or they had a teacher that impacted them deeply when they were a student… so they want to pay this forward.
When I dug into what appreciation really means, I came across the following definitions:
“Recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.”
This begins with awareness. We have to be aware of the work in order to recognize and appreciate what a good educator brings to our students. It’s the awareness of the education being provided AND the people involved in the process. As I think back to some of my teachers, I remember them for the manner in which they treated me and the passion by which they taught their subject. These teachers ended up being some of the most influential people in my life… with their influence still being felt to this day, decades after I left their classrooms. In visiting nearly every classroom in this District, something that I have witnessed by our staff is their care for their students and their care for the process of teaching them. This is a special place, where students are known, cared for, nurtured, and taught by everyone, from teachers to support staff and everyone in between. This leads to the second definition.
“A full understanding of a situation.”
It’s no easy task to teach a group of children a particular skill or task. It’s complex; it takes skill, and patience, and knowledge. As a parent, it can be a daunting task to work with my own children through solving a problem… to fully understand the scenario. Imagine there being 25 additional children around the kitchen table who also need to learn the same thing. Education is a calling; being gifted with how to explain material in an age appropriate manner, while pushing each student to do their best. Our Forest Ridge School District 142 teachers and staff fully understand the impact they have on the lives of the children they teach… and teach them in such a way that they are prepared for what lies beyond our district in high school and beyond. The work being done here is so intentional, and careful, and considerate… it truly demonstrates our teachers and staff fully understand the importance of the education we provide.
In closing, thank you to the Forest Ridge District 142 Educators for their dedication and hard work, for answering the calling to pay it forward, and for working so hard to ensure that children always come first. Happy Educator Appreciation Week!