I Just Wanted to Say “Thank You”

Teacher Appreciation Week



You see them five days a week, and they become such an integral part of your daily routine that you don’t notice everything they do for you. I have some breaking news: teachers have lives outside of school. When was the last time you went up to your teacher and personally thanked them for dedicating their lives to helping you? That test you took two weeks ago that still isn’t in Powerschool is eating up the time of your teacher, as they grade dozens of tests simultaneously. We each have our own problems. We come up to our teachers and tell them we are missing one class a week in advance, and you want to come into their Learn the lunch beforehand to make up work. Multiply this by every class they teach, with multiple students at a time, and it equates to one large headache.


We all take things for granted, and I am surely guilty of that as well. I have hot showers, and electricity, but when did I start taking real people for granted? Our whole lives up to this point, we have been surrounded by teachers and educators who have guided us through the most interesting and boring classes; we have been surrounded by constant support. It is only natural that we forget to appreciate what seems so implicit to us, yet we have to take a moment and open our eyes.


Teachers wake up just as early as we do, if not earlier. They come home as late as we do, they run our clubs, lose half of their lunch every day, and teach our classes. Being in high school, it is so easy to get wrapped up in the craziness of things. It feels like us, students, as a collective, have to drag ourselves to class on any given day, but teachers have to do so as well. During the third quarter, energy levels drop significantly, the workload rises, the temperature drops, and the weeks seem like an endless loop. Teachers have to grade tests, plan classes, collect classwork, handle individual student issues, and design tests. They are equally part of this continuous loop.


I know the thought of teachers having lives outside of school is foreign, but it is true. I talk to my teachers and they do the same things we do. They probably go to the same grocery stores, and go to the same movies. If you run into a teacher outside of school say “Hi”, don’t awkwardly shy away or pull out your phone and text your friend, “Guess who I saw at Starbucks?” For many, saying “thank you” when leaving a class or the bus has become a habit, but is it sincere? Once, I told my bus driver to “have a great day”, and without even looking, he replied “You’re welcome.” I am not saying you have to say a sincere “thank you” every time you leave a class or the bus, but just going up to the teacher every once in a while can really make their day. 


I remember in elementary and middle school, many students would give small chocolates to their teachers for the holidays or summer break, but as I progressed in my education, I saw this happening less and less. This past winter break I gave chocolates out to my teachers, and every time I would give a box to one of them they would smile, and get excited because this simple act of giving some chocolates they could buy at CVS showed I was willing to put the time in to get it for them as a gift. We have to acknowledge our teachers as people, and they have struggles, strengths, and preferences just like everyone else. 


If there is one take-away from this article, it is that a quick ten-second chat with a teacher, or a two-second sticky note on their desk can change their entire day. If you can take just a fraction of your time to express gratitude to those who deserve it, this article will have been well-worth writing. This mantra is not only limited to teachers. Lunch aids, office staff, bus drivers, janitors, all deserve our gratitude. Let’s just take ten seconds and give it to them.