Teacher Appreciation 2022

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Since it’s after 3 p.m. (East Coast), I guess Teacher Appreciation Week is officially over. However, the time to thank our teachers does not run out this week. There is always time to show our appreciation for the women and men who educate our children. Which is why, even though this has been a crazy and hellish week (not worthy of a blog post), I wrote two letters today.

The first was to my son’s history teachers. Not just his current teacher, but four who have individually help him to get to where he is today. To all of them I said:

“As I write this email, my son is (hopefully) in the midst of taking his AP U.S. History exam. While I cannot predict the numerical outcome (although aren’t we all hoping/praying for a 5?), I know that he is well prepared. With all of the Thursday evening prep sessions (which, Mr. M, go above and beyond), I know he and his classmate are ready for this challenge.

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“But his ability to tackle this exam is not just based on this year’s class. (No matter how good a class it may be Mr. M). He arrived here thanks to the foundation that was formed by Ms. M back in 8th grade and was nurtured in high school by Ms. S and Ms. W. You all have played an integral part in James’ education (and more). Without each of you, he would not be where he is today. (And I’m not just talking about sitting at a desk sweating over an exam.)

“My son has always had a love/fascination with history. You each have not just taught him history, you have encouraged him and helped him to grow into the young man that he is today.

“My thanks to each of you for your work and dedication. In my mind, you exemplify what education is all about.”

The second letter was sent to the principals at the high school about a new teacher. (She was copied as well.)

“As Teacher Appreciation week wraps up, I feel that it is vital that I shine a light on an unsung (pun intended?) hero at our school, Ms. N.

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“While the town music program is (deservedly) well known, the focus has always been on instrumental music. While choir was starting to gain recognition under the direction of Ms. M (the reason why my son decided to continue with choir in high school), her leave of absence (and eventual resignation) and the pandemic nearly destroyed the program.

“When Ms. N came on board this fall, I was hopeful. She immediately got the choir involved in the community. After two school days (and classes), she had the choir singing that Saturday at the 9/11 service in town. Since that time the choir has also performed at the town’s Veteran’s Day Ceremony, as well as town holiday fair. She had plans for caroling at the high school, which, along with the winter concert, were squashed by COVID, but her enthusiasm and dedication has NEVER wavered. Under her guidance, the choirs have participated in a University Choral Festival and done an in-house workshop. Before the month of May is over, the choir will have performed two concerts for the community at large. These accomplishments in less than a year while still dealing with COVID are nothing short of miraculous. Her passion for music and her devotion to her students has brought new life to the vocal music program.

“In less than a year, Ms. N has proved herself to be an incredible asset to the music department, the school and the entire community. I am extremely grateful that my son has had the opportunity to be a part of the choir under her direction and know that next year, his senior year, will offer even more opportunities because of her.”

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I share these letters here not to show off my letter writing skills (they are nothing to shout about), but to encourage you to share and show your appreciation to the teachers in your life, even if they don’t actually hold the title of teacher.

I was blessed with some wonderful teachers in my life. So has my son. It’s important that we let our educators know how much they mean to us. We all know a little appreciation can go a long way. Any week is the perfect time to recognize that teacher in your life. Take the time to do so.

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Beth Shorten
Beth Shortenhttp://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com
Beth Shorten is a life-long resident of Verona from a long line of life-long Verona residents. She chronicles life here on her personal site, Bfth’s Boring Blog. 

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