Nahcotta School

With school about to resume, it’s time to let teachers know how much they’re appreciated. This photo of the Nahcotta School dates from around a century ago.

Dear teachers:

Well, summer is coming to a close.

Some of you are probably ready to jump back into the classroom while others may still be sleep deprived from that last week of school.

Most of you are probably somewhere in the middle (really serious cognitive dissonance, I’m guessing).

More than once I’ve heard people say that if they weren’t working as [insert profession] that they would be a teacher because “Christmas break!” and “three months of summer!”

But honestly I don’t think those people would even make it to Christmas break.

I am not and have never been a teacher.

Some people are destined to be teachers and that’s definitely not me.

My cousin, I believe, was born holding a ruler and a whiteboard marker.

When I was a kid I constantly bounced between wanting to be a “singer” or an “author” or a “movie star” or a “professional rollerblader,” but Chelsi was always going to be a teacher.

And I’m glad that she did.

(And glad I gave up on the rollerblading.)

Over the past five or six years, I have had many late-night conversations with Chelsi about her lesson plans, how to best reach kids who are disengaged, what adjustments she needs to make to her teaching style and tone, how to be inclusive, how to navigate tricky home life situations, and how to help her students trust her.

She is a teacher, coach, counselor, mediator and sometimes even a parent.

But so are most of you teachers. Sometimes you are the only person that a child can trust, and that is a lot of pressure, especially when you’ve got parents yelling at you (or sending you ALL CAPS EMAILS), deadlines looming, and a 7 a.m. staff meeting every Friday.

So since kids and teenagers don’t usually recognize the impact that their teachers have on them, and it’s even rarer for them to express their gratitude to said teachers, I will do it for them:

• To the teacher who makes a conscious effort to be inclusive of all students: thank you.

• To the teacher who recognizes and praises hard work: thank you.

• To the teacher who sees beyond labels and teaches compassionately: thank you.

• To the teacher who is dedicated to helping every student reach their full potential: thank you.

• To the teacher who gets overwhelmed and remains kind: thank you.

• To the teachers who are still learning, and doing their best: thank you.

You have the most important job in the world because none of us would be who we are without you.

So, teachers, you have a couple weeks to get down to Costco and buy that 15-pound tub of coffee. You’re gonna need it.

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