Why Give Teachers Presents?

My children have had a fair mix of school teachers over the years; good, bad, never ugly. Some could have been ….better at their jobs. -You know, jobs where they should have known they were working with small children and might need a smidgen of patience and crowd control. One or two others were phenomenal and more than earned their middling teacher’s salary. The rest land just lower than that, which is fine for a normal human.

But that’s it: teachers make the same whether they put a movie on at least once a week day or whether they split children into ability-appropriate groups and organized educational games.

And all of them take my children all day. That right there is enough to earn their pay.

On top of that, they manage to teach my kids a thing or two that I couldn’t. I’d say that’s good for a candy bar on their birthday.

Best of all, that saint with a yardstick did not end up killing that one child (who looked a lot like my son) who dumped water on her on Field Day and ran off laughing about it. I’m …still working on what to get her.

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Teaching is a highly underrated and underpaid profession. Yes, teachers only work 9 months of the year. Technically they work from 8-3 instead of 9-5. They get summers off and Christmas Break and the occasional PTA present of a mug. Some do not try as hard as they might and some go into the profession intending to not try.

In actual practice however, teachers spend the ‘extra’ 3 months setting up lesson plans, classrooms, and schedules. Their days run from 7 a.m.-whenever they finish grading homework. Many work summer jobs to make ends meet (often also in an educational position like Driver’s Ed). Some have so many mugs they donate them straight to Goodwill. Most do not go into teaching to make money, but to make a difference.

Even the (two) times my children have had barely passable elementary instructors, I made sure those women received some token of appreciation at Christmas and during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Why?

The very people teaching my boys with positive reinforcement could use a little of their own. Teaching is difficult. The pay’s not worth it. In several areas of the world, the children and the parents put stress on already impossible expectations.

And maybe every time a child (who looks suspiciously like mine) acts up a bit, they’ll feel somewhat better knowing a parent out there loves them and appreciates what they do.

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Sunday, May 26: “Happily Ever After is Possible, but it Requires an Epic Journey,” a post encouraging couples to work at their relationship.

Monday, May 27: Wrote a poem titled, “Summer Vacation -Almost.”

Tuesday, May 28: Shared an appropriate image about real life expectations.

Wednesday thru Saturday: Nothing, nothing; tra-la-la.

Sunday, June 2: That’s today!

Photo Credit:
Nicole Honeywill

 

© 2019 Chelsea Owens

“Mom, What Can I Do?”

My five-year-old has a habit, lately, of laying on me and asking, “What can I dooooooo?”

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The boy can self-play. He can group-play. He can understand complex games and is beginning to read. But I hadn’t realized, in my ignorance, that he’s developing normal childhood things like attachments, fears, and desires for acceptance. Besides those, he is the youngest child and normally has three other miniature people to play with.

When he’s stuck at home with just me, then, his options are limited to what I’ve planned. And that’s usually Wal-mart.

Yay.

Or dishes, laundry, bathrooms, floors, yard work….

Double-yay.

Perhaps due to my usual daily activities, The Bored One is an excellent worker. He comes along to the store, enjoys helping with dishes or toilets, and likes showing me how strong he is pushing his little wheelbarrow outside.

When I’m just sitting with my laptop, though, he does not know what to do. He can’t help with Mom saying, “I need to focus for 30 minutes.” Even if I hand him a coloring or activity book or an entire marble works set, he wants my attention -the very attention I wanted for writing.

So… this is the point at which I remember my priorities.

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I set the laptop aside and play a game with him. We build a tower for the marbles. Together, we draw or paint or color.

I know that some parents need to work from home. Some can’t afford day care. I also know that the work can get done and there is still time for a game. It’s what’s most important, right?

 

Photo Credit:
Magdalena Smolnicka
Image by Aline Ponce from Pixabay
Paige Cody