DEAR MEMPHIS TEACHERS,
It’s been over 700 days since the pandemic changed the world for us all. When you said goodbye to your students/classroom for Spring Break in 2020, who would have thought that you wouldn’t return for almost 2 years??
Your living rooms became your classrooms—and when your students did come back, you could only see half of their faces.
Like many aspects of your job, they did not teach you how to handle this in your education classes, and you, along with the rest of the world, just had to wing it. However, most of the world didn’t have 20 sets of young eyes looking to them for answers and to tell them everything would be okay.
On this first day of Teacher Appreciation week, we want you to know that we see you. We see what you've been through and the challenges that still lay ahead.
Most parents spent a year and a half trying to be you and let me tell you—if anyone deserves a drinking fountain full of wine, it is you.
You teach 5-year-olds how to read. You listen to middle schoolers when a friend has turned their back on them. You prepare teens to take on college. You give your lunch to the kid who forgot theirs, you pick kids up for school to ensure they’re there on time; and you’re probably doing all these things while you really have to pee.
We all have that one teacher we look back on and think, “I couldn’t have made it without them” or “I know how to spell ‘separate’ because in the 5th grade Mrs. Johnson said it was the most misspelled word in the English language.”
You are so special and what you wake up to do every morning matters BIG.
If you teach little ones, they think you are a celebrity (remember seeing your elementary teacher in the grocery store and being so nervous to say hello?) and if you teach the soon-to-be adults, you are teaching them skills they will use for the rest of their lives.
No one becomes a teacher or an author or business owner or scientist or social worker without first being a student who is learning from a teacher.
In conclusion (because you taught us in the 7th grade that this is how you end a paper), I hope that this Teacher Appreciation Week brings you your favorite snacks and all the “thank yous” you deserve.
We love you. We are with you. Let’s change the world together, sharpening students like pencils one at a time.