Stop Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week -- Unless You're Going to Do Something Else

Stop Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week -- Unless You're Going to Do Something Else

Back when I was teaching in Canada (Linguistics courses at the University of Toronto), there was no Teacher Appreciation Week. I’m not even sure there was a Teacher Appreciation Day. And I find myself wondering if there should be one anywhere.

Don't get me wrong. I know from experience that teachers work hard. I know that they are vital to the continuing success of our society and even of our planet. In my opinion, education, and therefore teachers, are key to just about everything.

So why don't I think we should have Teacher Appreciation Week? Because I don't think society is truly appreciating teachers the way that we should. Lay offs, lack of funding in the education system, pay cuts, tying teacher wages to bizarre test scores. All of this screams that we have a total and complete *lack* of appreciation. For this reason, Teacher Appreciation Week rings a little false. It’s like a small token where a larger one should be.

 

Project 365 157/365

 

Teacher Appreciation Week is a time to, yes, show our teachers that we appreciate them. But I worry that it’s also a time to pat ourselves on the back and say, “Even though society doesn’t properly appreciate teachers, I’ve shown that I do. Good job me! Now, back to normal life.”

If you’re celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week, I think you need to have a hard look at what teachers mean to your school and your community. If we really want to show teachers that we appreciate them, we have to take it a step further. It can’t just be about giving a gift and making a lunch.

Don’t worry. I'm not going to seriously opt out of Teacher Appreciation Week at my son's school. The opposite in fact. I've already made and served the dessert and punch at our teacher’s luncheon and I will continue to participate all week.

I do however find myself wishing that one of the events held during Teacher Appreciation Week was a letter-writing campaign. I wonder if the teachers would appreciate that as much as the manicures we’re arranging for them.

Even if there isn’t a letter-writing campaign, I will certainly write my own letter. And I’ve written this post. I will talk about this issue and tell others what I think. What will you do?

Tell me, how do you think we should show our appreciation to teachers? Do you think Teacher Appreciation Week is enough or do you agree that it's a small token that serves to mask how under-appreciated teachers really are?

Note: I am not an American citizen and therefore I cannot vote. If I could, voting in favor of education funding would be on my list of things to do for our teachers. Also, my son is in pre-school and is therefore not yet part of the public system. However, I don’t think this disqualifies me from thinking about how teachers of all types, in all kinds of schools, are or aren’t valued in our society.

 

Photo Credit: angryjuliemonday.

Related Posts

Should Salons Have Child Free Policies?

Have you and your children ever been turned away from somewhere? Not because the kids are being loud and obnoxious. But just because they EXIST. That’s what happened to me today.   Read more >

Inventions We'd Like To See

There's been a lot of talk in the beauty industry lately about multi-tasking products. You've probably seen ads for some of them:  eye creams that disguise and treat, self-tanners that also moisturize and exfoliate, toothpastes that clean and whiten.But I think we can do better. We are living in a modern, industrialized culture, after all. Humans have traveled in space. We can shop for a dizzying array of products that we don't need, online, 24 hours a day, without changing out of our pajamas. Drive-through hamburgers are available at every major intersection.  And there's enough reality TV programming to fill every channel, around the clock, for the rest of our lifetimes. Image: Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr   Read more >

Are "Done" Nails a Requirement?

I'm a big fan of pedicures, but the manicure has always left me cold.  Most of the time, my fingernails are bare, as well as ridiculously short.  I played violin for many years, which requires nails that do not extend at all past the fingertip.  To this day, I feel twitchy when they get too long.But I always thought the manicure was an optional extra.  You know, if you wanted to feel all girly.  So I was somewhat dismayed when I recently read an article about preparing for job interviews that listed a “professional” manicure as a requirement, right up there with groomed hair and professional attire.   Read more >

Comments

In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.