Thank a Teacher

Today is the last day of school for many kids in Tulsa and the surrounding area. With all the teacher bashing that’s been going on lately, I thought I would take a moment to thank teachers.

I find it ironic that we’re so quick to blame teachers for everything that’s wrong with education. We’re all so much smarter than those dumb teachers, but aren’t they the same ones who made us so smart? Sure, there are a few bad apples, but does that mean we blame the whole bushel? Most of the teachers I’ve known over the years don’t go into teaching because they’re too stupid to do anything else; they go into education because they care. They actually choose to get up every day and attempt to teach our kids something. I, for one, appreciate that.

Try this experiment. When you’re sitting around chatting with your adult friends, throw out this question: Who had the most influence on you growing up? I’ve done this several times, and a teacher is mentioned by most of the people in the group.

Think about the teachers in your past. I had a 4th grade teacher who read Laura Ingalls Wilder books out loud to us every day after lunch. I still remember how I looked forward to that, and how it encouraged me to read more. I remember the English teacher I had in high school who challenged me when he asked me a question and I hesitated to answer. He said, “Don’t be afraid that you might be wrong.” He was smart enough to know that I usually did have something to say, but I wasn’t comfortable speaking up. That brief interchange gave me the courage to make comments in class. I could go on, but you get my point.

So, on this last day of school, tell your kids’ teachers that you appreciate them. They may not know the immediate effect they have on their students, but most teachers don’t care. They know they’re investing in the future.

Categories: Editor’s Blog