Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Teacher Gift

The pictures above are a little Easter gift that I have made for my granddaughter's first grade teacher. Claire loves her teacher and loves giving her gifts and cards. Many times, the cards are made by my granddaughter herself. However, due to scheduling and time, she wasn't able to help me with this project other than to pick out the items she wanted in the little bucket.

Some years back, there was an auto bumper sticker that read, "If you can read this, thank a teacher." I appreciate teachers. I always have, even as a kid going through school. I was fortunate to have really good teachers who inspired me to want to learn. In this day and time, however, it seems as if teachers and the American school system are constantly getting lamblasted. American kids have fallen behind in nation rankings, and the poor teachers are being blamed. As in any profession, there are good and there are inadequate. The majority of teachers, in my opinion, are good ones.

When I was growing up, my parents expected and insisted that I put forth my best efforts in school. I was not entitled to an education. I had to earn it by doing the work expected of me, studying, and listening to my teacher. If I wasn't putting forth my best, my parents restricted my other activities until I was back on the right track! I won't use a blanket generalization by saying that (all) parents no longer enforce expectations on their children, but I have seen an awful lot of parents who want to blame the teachers for their child's lack of accomplishment. Rather than placing the expectation and responsibility on their own child, they rant and rave that the teacher isn't a good teacher. Parents often complain about the homework that is assigned to their child and when it is assigned. I've heard parents belittle projects and assignments. I've heard parents complain that tests are too difficult. I've heard parents belittle teachers and administrators. The sad thing is that I've heard all those negatives being spewed in ear-shot of the children. What kind of messages do those negative comments convey?

Most teachers give an awful lot of themselves. They contend with between 20-30 different personalities, energy levels and learning abilities on a daily basis. They spend time after the normal day grading papers, planning, and preparing. Their summer breaks (which have, in many states, been shortened) may be spent taking additional classes required to keep their certifications renewable. Many are expected to participate in or attend extra activities, and most all are expected to attend Parent-Teacher Assoc. meetings one evening per month.

Yes, I appreciate teachers, and I am glad that my granddaughter appreciates her teachers. Little gifts such as the Easter bucket are nice, but they don't compare to teaching your child to respect a good education, putting forth their best effort, and respecting the person who is giving of their time to TEACH.

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