Teacher Appreciation week is upon is and many moms and dads are frantically trying to find that info sheet your kids’ teachers sent out at the first of the school year. Should you get a cute craft or gift cards? Is candy a safe bet? But this educator is here to share with you a hard truth; the best thing you can give teachers for Teacher Appreciation week is respect.

Somewhere in our culture we have lost the respect that used to come to professionals.

From doctors to bankers to police, and for various different reasons, no one seems to be trusted to do their job. I am not sure how teachers somehow fell into that group but they most definitely have. Not only is their rate increase in pay for the first ten years of teaching one of, if not the lowest in public service jobs, but the level of trust and respect for teachers seems to have disintegrated. So many times we hear of parents not believing a teacher’s version of something that happened or simply disregarding a recommendation a teacher has for their student. The have even disgracefully become jokes to legislators and politicians alike.

I can’t explain to you why this is. While our public education system in our country has many flaws the honest truth is that the men and women in our classrooms are not one of them.

They are well educated, highly trained professionals who spend their days, nights, and often weekends (with no overtime pay) working hard to make sure our children learn and feel cared for. The amount of effort and time that teachers put in for and with students, other than their class, would astound you. The level of training they get every year to update them on tools and skill for teaching more efficiently, and for working well to support all children is incredible. They work hard to know each student at a personal level even when they have over 150 of them. The reality is that they often spend more time with our children in a school year than we do, but for some reason we question that they would have our children’s’ best interest at heart? It makes no sense.

As much as I wish we could all stand for teachers to force our system to give them better pay, benefits, and support on a larger scale that unfortunately isn’t the case.

What we can do as parents is give them the respect they deserve.

Gift cards can be great but taking steps all year to make sure they know you appreciate and respect them as a teacher and professional are the true gift.


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