Nourishing the nourishers: 5 Ways to Appreciate a Teacher
By gracefulmess on May 07, 2014
This week is National Teacher Appreciation week. Each year at my daughter's school, the PTO tries to do things throughout the week to make the teachers feel special and loved, mostly through the gift of food and snacks each day. I love to be a part of this tradition because that is what us Southerners do well - show love through food.
This morning as I put a batch of potato soup together amid the usual morning chaos, I began to consider how making soup for teachers related to this month's blog theme of "nourish". And it struck me that it was a perfect fit.
This week, we are nourishing the nourishers.
But how do you really thank a teacher?
When I posed the question earlier this week seeking definitions of the word Nourish from readers, the first definition came from the best teacher that I know, my mom. Here is what she said:
"Nourish...to cultivate an environment that supports growth! I always think of how you prepare a garden for new plants. You add nutrients, till the soil, and apply water. Where you work should also be like that! Adding nutrients is enriching your workplace with support, kind words, and teamwork. By tilling the soil, you keep the people you are with fresh through sifting out things that don't support your work. Adding water is like pouring out the compliments and recognizing strengths in others. It is in an environment that nourishes people where we all can grow and be encouraged to be our best! Nourish each other!"
-Genie Adams (My mom and a teacher for 29 years)
I know that I am biased, but my mom is an amazing teacher. I know that not just because of all the lessons that she has taught me but because of the growth and success of the people that she has worked with and taught.
My mom is a teacher. My mom, by her own definition, is absolutely a Nourisher in all that she does. I have seen her cry over a student that she longs to help. I've seen her buy her own school supplies. I've seen her stay up late to put together gifts for her students. I've seen her do silly things and out-of-the-box things to engage her students and faculty. I've seen her feed and pamper the teachers in her school as an administrator because she knows that they deserve to be treated to something special.
What amazes me about educators is that they foster an environment of Nourishment. For the students that they are entrusted to teach and for their colleagues.
So what can we do to nourish the teachers in our lives?
Thank them. Tell them thank you whenever and however you can and at each and every opportunity. Send a card. Have your children write a letter to them. They can never hear it enough.
Support them. I have never met a teacher that wasn't investing in their students. They invest their time, money, emotions, and sanity into our children. Help out with basic supplies. If you aren't sure about what they need, simply ask. Even a well-timed gift card goes a long way.
Be involved. I know that I have younger children and now they love to see me help out at their school. That may not be the case as they get older. It's important to find ways to be involved in your children's school. Help out with the PTO. Volunteer to go read to younger children. Participate in booster clubs. Do what you are able to do.
Trust them. It seems as though teachers spend a great deal of time justifying their reasoning and methods to parents. Things are not taught the way they were when I was in school Methods have evolved and changed. Standards are different. Trust the teacher. Teach your children to take responsibility for their grades rather than blaming the teacher.
Listen to them. Teachers spend a great deal of time with our children. My daughter spends more time at school each week than she does with me. I know that it is ridiculous to believe that she could be a little angel 100% of the time. She has off days and fantastic days. There are some topics that she learns faster than others and there are occasional issues that need to be addressed. In order for me to be involved in her education I try to listen to what her teacher has to say because at the end of the day we both have my child's best interest at heart.
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