Without a doubt, most of us can look back on our school age years and remember at least one teacher who made a positive difference in our life, in some way.
Did you know it took forty years for National Teacher Appreciation Day to be ratified by Congress? March 7, 1980 was the first official National Teacher Appreciation Day. In 1985, Teacher Appreciation Week began to be celebrated as a way of thanking America’s teachers, with the Tuesday of that week being recognized as National Teacher Appreciation Day.
Today, we recognize many of the reasons we should thank our Arkansas teachers.
Teachers Invest Time Into Their Students
Arkansas teachers spend countless hours preparing their classrooms, materials, and courses, as well as keeping up with student progress, and coming in early or staying late to help students with their assignments. Even outside of instructional related efforts, teachers go above and beyond for their students.
Teachers Are Emotionally Invested In Their Students
Ask a student what they remember most about their favorite teacher(s). Some may answer something regarding making learning fun or exciting, or a teacher always being willing to spend extra time helping with a lesson. But most of us are going to remember the teachers that inspired us, believed in us, spurred us on to do or be our best because this is what teachers do. This is who they are.
Arkansas teachers deserve our thanks because they are more than a math lesson or field trip– the influence they have on any given student could impact generations of children. One inspiration from a teacher could change the trajectory of a student’s life forever!
Teachers Give Their Own Resources To Their Students
Outside of instruction, encouragement, and inspiration, teachers often meet basic needs of students, as well. They don’t do it for the accolades, so you may never know, but there are Arkansas teachers who are every day: sharing their own food with hungry students, paying fees for students/families who are short on funds, collecting clothing or other necessities for students in need, providing school supplies for students without any, and so much more.
Teachers Are Aware Of Diverse Needs In Education
All students learn differently, and any teacher who is aware of this and works to teach in diverse ways in his or her classroom is an asset to any school system. Arkansas teachers advocate for their students if there is an educational need not being met, and teachers amend their lesson plans and assignments for students requiring modifications due to special needs. This isn’t easy and takes extra time, especially in classrooms with multiple students needing modifications. Teachers deserve our thanks for going the extra mile for each of their students.
Teachers work tirelessly all year, but especially during testing season. State mandated testing can be stressful for teachers and students, but Arkansas teachers and administrators are known for going above and beyond to emotionally encourage and pump students up in preparation for these tests, as well as helping to calm the nerves of any anxious students.
Teachers Are Adaptable
Technology is changing all the time, and teachers are often having to adapt every year (or more frequently) to new changes in the classroom with regards to technology. This can seem daunting, but teachers jump in and learn whatever is necessary, often attending many hours of training or professional development to master these new technological developments.
And along the topic of adaptability, in recent months…
Teachers Remain Beacons In the Face of Adversity and Pandemic
In recent days, we have seen Arkansas teachers adapt to new circumstances with such zeal, as learning has been canceled in the traditional sense due to the coronavirus pandemic. With very little warning, schools were closed for the foreseeable future. Teachers are checking in on their students via phone or video online, offering online teaching/instruction, researching and sending parents various ideas and resources, all while grappling with their own emotions in this unusual time.
Arkansas teachers teach because they love it. In the wake of COVID-19, teachers have found themselves out of the classroom they’re used to– a place they love, filled with faces they love. This was unexpected for teachers and students and has left teachers worrying or wondering about students who may not have what they need or feel safe at home. Teachers are missing their students, because their students are a part of their everyday life–a part of their heart.
The efforts of these teachers are seen. Teachers, you are not unnoticed. We see you driving through neighborhoods and waving at your students. We read/watch your messages every time you send them to our email. We know you’re constantly responding to parents and trying to find new things for your students to do. We know some of you are hosting zoom calls to help your students out. We see you adapting to new methods of instruction but also striving to teach empathy during this confusing time. Because you teach more than your subject matter, on any given day.
We also know you’re struggling alongside us– unable to see your own friends or extended family, in addition to missing your students and colleagues. And amid that, you’re striving to maintain some sense of normalcy for your students. This is what you do–every day, all school year long, year after year, pandemic or not.