Teacher Appreciation

It used to be that my role as a nurse was celebrated on May 6th, commonly known at National Nurse’s Day. The exact date of this professional celebration had escaped me recently. I knew it was the first week in May. I haven’t practiced as a nurse for almost twenty years, but I do remember being valued for my role in the profession on National Nurse’s Day. Yesterday, another profession that I have become a part of was celebrated in the United States. It was National Teacher’s Day!

Just by chance, yesterday was also the weekly meeting of writer’s circle, which is  comprised of six third graders that like to write. As you can guess, I like to write too! (Hence, the blog.)  When I arrived at school, my students were ready to go to the computer lab to start typing their journalism pieces for an end of the year, third grade newspaper. They were excited to be going to the lab. One of my students handed me a small note card envelope, “from me,” she said.

“Thank you,” I replied.

“Are  you going to open it?” she asked. “I want you to open it.”

I told Natalie that I would open the card when I got them started on the computers.  My response seemed to satisfy her for a few minutes. Then, she said, “that card is only from me.” This was in reference to the fact that I was also given a group “Thank You” card and a potted geranium, after gathering my group.  It was Teacher’s Day and I had grateful students. I was touched. The third grade classroom teachers with whom I work to organize the writer’s circle each year are great at making me feel valued for offering my time and sharing my knowledge with these young writers.  They are modeling gratefulness and appreciation for these young students through their actions. Toby, another volunteer for third grade, loved by the students for time he spends with them, was also holding a purple-wrapped red geranium as he said good-bye to them in the hall.

After getting the students settled, I opened the note from Natalie. What was inside touched my heart. First, there was a poem. It goes like this:

Mrs. L. is the best. 

She always puts me up to the test.

I like that the best about her.

Does she give up? Never!

Don’t you see?

She means a lot to me.

We just finished our poetry unit. Natalie is the author of the Red Color poem I posted a couple of weeks ago. The fact that she wrote this new poem for me and used spacing to accent her thoughts really showed me she cares about what we are learning, and it shows she cares about me as a teacher!  The remainder of the note was a thank you for helping her in writer’s circle and making her writing “be the best it can be.” She also thanked me for helping her “learn in many ways”.

It is a great feeling to know you are reaching students and inspiring them to work hard at a craft like writing.  I do not know what the best part of yesterday was – whether it was the timing of the note, what she said in the note, or the feeling I received as the recipient of the note. The feeling of being valued.   All I know is that yesterday was National Teacher’s Day and I was appreciated by my students and one in particular.  All it takes is one to make you feel the job you do is important and that you might be making a difference. It is a great feeling.

I am a grateful teacher and I Thank You!

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