Teacher Appreciation Week
As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, I cannot help but reflect upon my own years as a teacher and how much it meant to me to receive appreciation from the students I cared so very much for. It never quite mattered the cost of the gift. In fact, some that stand out to me were things of very low monetary value but high sentimental value. I once received a moose antler and cuttings from lilac bushes. Both of those items could be found everywhere during the Springtime in Northern Maine. You can see below my favorite pencil holder that I still use made by a dear student named Regan back in 2001.
Now, as a school leader, it brings me much pleasure to surprise our teachers with special treats during this week of appreciation. Our LANK teachers are truly special. One of the first things I noticed about the teachers at LANK is how comfortable they are laughing, taking risks and being silly together. Teachers that are willing to laugh and have fun together create environments where children feel safe to laugh, be silly and take risks to try new things.
I cannot tell you how many texts I receive in the evenings and weekends from excited teachers wanting to share a magical moment that happened with their students. In the interest of full transparency, the majority of the pictures you see on social media are actually taken by our teachers. They are constantly thinking about our students and the lessons that will ignite their curiosity and excitement. They celebrate alongside students in their accomplishments, they worry about them when they are not at school, and they feel for them during times of big emotion.
Our teachers also speak what I like to refer to as “early childhood-eeze”. They understand how our students think and what motivates them. They know that telling our students the bookcase is lava and that it would be safer to run the cars on the carpet is far more effective than simply scolding them for racing cars loudly on the bookcase. They know that singing a song during clean-up time is a much more enjoyable way to motivate the clean-up process.
Our teachers love what they do each day. They often take projects home to finish or prepare for the next day. They sometimes recruit family members and spouses to assist them in carrying items back and forth over vacations or save large cardboard boxes to become magical classroom playhouses.
We are very fortunate to have such caring and dedicated teachers working with our LANK students. Thank-you for all you have done this week to celebrate them and let them know how much we appreciate all they do for our LANK students!