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Teacher Appreciation Week...

Today was a long. ass. day. I spent the entire day subbing in the #sixlet’s kindergarten class. 7:30am-2:40pm  Here is what I learned:

  • Teachers do not make enough money. Like seriously, I’ve been saying this for YEARS, but to walk in their shoes for just one day reinforced it a million fold. They are the most valuable assets for our children. Why on earth do they make pennies on the dollar in the US? We have to change this.

  • There are a lot of really broken children in our public schools. So many kiddos from troubled homes, foster homes, with violent backgrounds and terrible situations. These babies need way more love and support than they receive.

  • Our teachers need MORE: more funding, more support, more volunteers, more supplies, more mental health resources, more helping hands. When you have kids that need even more support than a typical child, teachers often dedicate their time and energy to those students because they have no other choice. This impacts the entire class.

  • Our CHILDREN need MORE: more funding, more support, more volunteers, more supplies, more mental health resources, more helping hands. At 5-6 years of age, these kindergarteners are learning to navigate the world and we need as many people helping that journey as possible. This continues through the entirety of academic life, as they grow and meet more challenges. How can we expect our kids to thrive in this world without enough support in all areas?

  • Parents need to step-up. It is not solely the responsibility of teachers and schools to edumacate your kids. Behavior regulation, discipline, studying, love - they all begin at home. When a child does not receive support at home, they cannot be expected to thrive in school. There is far too little accountability for parents in the public school system.

  • Kids are innately sweet and loving. I spent most of my day tending to children with behavior disorders in order to keep the class running smoothly. These children, though clearly troubled and struggling, are the first to tell me they love me, or draw me a picture. At this young age, they just want acceptance and love. As challenging as the day was, I understand why teachers keep coming back. The kids make it worth it.

  • Finally, I was able to grab my babies and leave right on time, after the school bell rang. I can’t even imagine staying hours longer to work on lesson plans and grade papers. I know the #bigkid’s teacher stays 4-5 hours longer than the school day, EVERY DAY, to get her work completed before going home. What other profession asks this of their employees without fair wages, much less the appreciation they deserve? The mental health crisis of our school staff is utterly undeniable. We must find a way to help them.

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 8-12th this year. Instead of cute mugs or flowers (or in addition to), why not ask to volunteer in class? Reach out to a teacher and see if they need anything right now? It’s the end of the school year, and that means they have worked their asses of for MONTHS to do right by our kids. Shower them with all the support you can offer! You never know, it may make the difference between a teacher returning for another year instead of burning out.

Thank you, teachers, from the bottom of my heart, for ALL that you do for us!!!

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