Sunday, March 12, 2006

Hug a Teacher

Teacher Appreciation Day is still a couple of months off (May 2), but it's never a bad time to reflect on the great teachers who are the backbone of a school. We all have them: those amazing teachers who changed the course of our lives.

My alma mater (New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois) has a whole alumni discussion page dedicated to celebrating the teachers who made a real difference -- and with more than a 100 years of experience, the list is long! Mine is Mrs. Kelly, an AP English teacher. Although she never cracked a smile -- and assigned insane amounts of writing -- she treated us as scholars. She expected great things of us, and inspired us to achieve them. When I returned to New Trier to teach (more than 20 years after graduating), Mrs. Kelly was still there, still inspiring, still pushing.

As a teacher, I often received small gifts during the holidays and at the end of the year, ranging from the sublime (homemade fudge) to the ridiculous (cheap perfume -- I showered every day, I promise!). But the gifts that meant the most weren't material. The best gifts were notes from a student or a parent. These notes of appreciation made all the difference -- manna from heaven to a teacher.

So this May 2nd, think about your children's teachers at JIS. If you've got a good one, forget the fudge or perfume... instead, let him or her know that you think they're great. Tell them how they're impacting your child's life. Send a note or email (and if you're really feeling positive, copy the principal and the headmaster). A few minutes of your time will make a real difference!


Post a Comment

<< Home