IEW Appreciates Teachers!

May 07, 2024 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team

The school where I last taught celebrated Teacher Appreciation Day in grand fashion. Early in the morning National Honor Society students scurried the halls, delivering breakfast to the faculty and staff. Parents volunteered to cover our classrooms midday so that all the teachers could gather for a leisurely hour-and-a-half-long luncheon. We did not need to prepare a lesson because the parents planned games to entertain their charges. At each teacher’s seat the PTA placed a goodie bag filled with decadent treats and generous gift cards. We relaxed, savored a catered meal, and engaged in enjoyable conversations with our colleagues. In another room massage therapists treated us to chair massages. We definitely felt appreciated!

As much as I anticipated this act of kindness each year, there was one aspect of Teacher Appreciation Day that meant even more to me—notes of appreciation written by students and parents. The encouraging notes that I collected over the years inspired me to improve my craft and motivated me to persevere after a difficult day. Excellent teachers do so much more than simply feed students information that they need to know. At IEW we understand the extras that teachers put into each day, and on this Teacher Appreciation Day, we want to communicate that we see you and we appreciate you!

Eleanor Roosevelt is credited with persuading Congress to enact the first National Teachers’ Day. In her January 14, 1953, “My Day” daily newspaper column, Roosevelt commemorated the event:

The teachers are, of course, among the most important people in our nation. Day in and day out they are at work preparing the future citizens of the U.S. The home and the school and the church together have a paramount influence that sets standards by which our children will live their lives.

I have always felt that we did not give an honorable enough place in our communities to the teachers. Next to parents they are the most important people in our communities. It is quite impossible to give teachers monetary compensation alone that will repay for their devotion to the job and the love that must go to each and every child. But I think we could compensate a little more adequately the teachers in our communities if we were conscious of their importance.

Eleanor Roosevelt understood the demands made on teachers and wanted them to feel seen, heard, and valued. Being appreciated makes lesson planning and grading after school easier. It makes lunch and recess duty and faculty meetings less onerous.

On this Teacher Appreciation Day, we at IEW would like to take a moment to honor the incredible dedication of teachers who shape lives beyond the confines of the classroom. Your unwavering commitment, patience, and passion for teaching not only impart knowledge but also inspire curiosity and a lifelong love of learning. You are the unsung heroes who work tirelessly, often going above and beyond to ensure all students reach their potential. Teachers, thank you for caring about young people. Thank you for making your classroom content engaging and interesting to every pupil under your purview. Thank you for arriving early and staying late to meet with students who need your help. Thank you for differentiating your lessons to help each student in your classroom grow. Thank you for cheering your students’ successes and comforting them when they fail. Thank you for pushing them to give their best. Today we express our deepest gratitude for your invaluable contribution to your students’ personal growth and society at large.

As a token of our appreciation for the many ways you furnish the hearts and minds of your students, we leave you with “However Imperfectly: Lessons Learned from Thirty Years of Teaching,” where Andrew Pudewa shares insights on seven intangibles that lead to great teaching. Andrew and Julie Walker unpack these seven lessons in the Arts of Language podcast Episodes 342 and 343. In the seventh lesson, Andrew emphasizes that the key to great teaching is love and discusses the power of active love in impacting and enriching your students. Additionally, Andrew shares the three great teachers who impacted him personally, and he traces their impact to their love for their students. We hope this article inspires and energizes you as you love your students this school year.

by Andrea Pewthers

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