Monday, May 2, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Day

May 3, 2011
Dear SPFT Community:

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day to all of our educators!

I celebrate this Teacher Appreciation Day with more reverence than ever.

As a student I had teachers who cared for me so greatly I can’t even begin to tell you what I actually learned from them, teachers I learned so much from I never noticed if they cared about me or not and I loved both experiences.

As I have shared before, I grew up in a family of teachers. I saw, firsthand, the work that went into getting ready to teach a new class in the fall. I knew the stress difficult negotiations put on a house. I knew the sleep lost over limited resources, student behavior, or colleagues.

As a teacher, I have experienced, firsthand, the lightening quick speed of a class period humming along on a well-tuned lesson and the abject pain of a clock ticking on a lesson that I can’t for the life of me figure out how it bombed.

I have had the privilege of spending time learning from some of this city’s best educators and I’ve spent time in deep distress with a teacher accused of failing to teach.

Now as a parent I’ve had 8 years of teachers in St. Paul Public Schools taking responsibility to teach my children. I’ve experienced, firsthand, the anticipation of parent/teacher conferences, the panic of bedtime due-date revelations, and the slope of the learning curve that is supporting your child through Everyday Math.

I celebrate your work on this Teacher Appreciation Day because I want everyone to recognize the teaching profession’s complexities as I have as a student, family member, practitioner, and parent.

I want students to understand and appreciate why, when you could have done anything, you chose to teach and I want those students to learn from you.

I want our families to see and be proud of the work we do.

I want every educator in the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers to know the thrill of that well-honed lesson and have the thorough support of our colleagues when we need help diagnosing what afflicted the other one.

I want a teaching and learning system designed for continuous growth and improvement for our teachers so we all get to learn from and become some of the best teachers in this city.

I want every parent in St. Paul to choose St. Paul Public Schools, to choose to have you educating their children because I know they would appreciate you like I do.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day! Please take care of yourself and take care of each other.

Together, mary cathryn