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To the editor:
I am currently a student at The Ohio State University where I am working toward my degree in Middle Childhood Education. As many people know, and many do not, May 7-11 is Teacher Appreciation Week. I would like to take this time to thank all of my previous educators and every educator in general. The work you do has a great impact on many lives. I feel that teachers are too often over shadowed by other issues in their school and community. Sports, administration, finances, test scores, etc are usually the topics at hand, not the actual teachers. What people fail to realize are all of the other great things teachers do.
On average, students spend seven hours per day at school. Multiply those seven hour by the 180 days in the school year for grades K-12. That adds up to approximately 116,380 hours spent with a teacher. If one continues to further his or her education, that is even more hours spent with a teacher. During all of this time, people tend to only focus on the negative aspects such as poor testing results. People forget that during those hours in the classroom, not only is a teacher teaching class material, but a teacher is teaching life-lessons and skills as well. In my school experience, many of my teachers served as a teacher, parent, banker, even referee. Teachers serve as a parent when you are hurt school; they provide you with a Band-Aid for your cut, pick you up off the playground when you fall, open your milk at lunch, make sure you dress warm enough for recess, and the list goes on and on. The teachers are like referees as well. They are the ones breaking up fights or helping students patch up an argument with their best friend. Teachers become like bankers when it comes to budgets. They have to find clever ways to deal with the lack of funding that many schools have. According to the National School Supply and Equipment Association, a teacher spends an average of $356 each year, out of his/her own pocket, to provide for the classroom.
Most importantly, teachers not only teach but they inspire. My teachers inspire me to become a teacher myself. Several of my teachers helped me work towards that goal by allowing me to spend time in their classrooms and help the students. I was even given the amazing opportunity to teach a lesson under their supervision. I thank all of you for help and support. Sometimes, without their support, I would have very little. When asked by people what I am going to school for, I tell them I am going to be a teacher. Their responses usually consist of negative comments such as “oh,” “why,” or “good luck with that.” I can’t believe that so many people would discourage me from becoming a teacher. Maybe they have forgotten what all their teachers did for them. Where would they be without their schooling and their teachers? I hope this week people can take the time to reflect upon that question. If you know a teacher, thank him/her whether they taught you or not. Trust me, they will appreciate the support.
So thank you to all of my previous teachers, my future teachers, and teachers everywhere. The work you do is irreplaceable and often thankless, but I know that I appreciate it. I hope others take the time to thank you as well.