Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thank you, teachers

I don't remember Teacher Appreciation Week being around when I was a kid but, as a parent, let me just say that practically every day is Teacher Appreciation Day in my mind (which is to say, I know Teacher Appreciation Week was last week, but please don't grade me down because I'm turning in my homework late). I'm constantly amazed by the things my kids will casually mention, dropping information that was clearly a part of the lessons from school -- because I certainly didn't know how to teach them the life stages of reptiles. At 8 and 5, I give them about another year and a half before they completely surpass me in useful knowledge. As for patience and understanding, well...let's just say I'm pretty sure the teachers are usually besting me there, too. 

It's only fitting, then, that last week -- Teacher Appreciation Week -- poet Taylor Mali's new book What Teachers Make : In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World hit the shelves. Mali wrote this book to "remind teachers that they are dearly loved." It's a short book, with pithy chapters like "Your Child is My Student," on the dispassionate way in which teachers are able to view children (and, in so doing, see them more clearly) and "Definitely Beautiful," on the simple ways in which teachers can make memories that ensure learning stays with their students.

If you are a teacher, I thank you and I encourage you to read What Teachers Make as a reminder of the difference that you make every day.  If you aren't a teacher, I encourage you to read it as a reminder of the many ways in which teachers make a difference in our lives.  And, if you've never seen the poem that started it all, check it out.

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