Celebrate National Teacher Day this year by genuinely thanking those instructors of yours. Teachers do so much for students, families, and the community—more than we’re able to see during the school day. Even if your school doesn’t celebrate the day formally, you might consider sending your teacher a note or stopping by after class with an encouraging word. Here are five reasons to thank these hard-working folks in our lives:
1. They provide resources particular to your learning styles and needs
Throughout the year, teachers get to know your learning styles, personality, interests, strengths, and weaknesses through your schoolwork and participation in class. They know you academically in a way no one else does, and they are able to support you better because of that! With all of this information, they’re able to provide resources that are specific to you through mediums like written feedback, individual meetings, book recommendations, and of course, they are always there to answer your questions.
2. They challenge us to be more innovative, thoughtful, and creative
Teachers provide the environment and structure that foster creative and critical thinking. Practically speaking, they’re there for us on a daily basis, and they juggle a handful of student needs within a single classroom (multiple times a day!). On a deeper level, they’re committed to bringing complex, thought-provoking ideas into that classroom that open our eyes to new perspectives and push us to new types of thinking.
3. They’re constantly adapting and self-reflecting
Teachers work with many types of people throughout the day besides students, like parents, administrators, counselors, and community members. They’re great at balancing the needs of the classroom with parent perspectives and goals for the school. Throughout the day, they may make tons of split-second decisions because they’re constantly adapting to the environment and reflecting on what they can do better or what would be most effective for students.
4. Their workdays extend beyond school hours
It’s no secret that teachers often come early to school and leave late, as they are planning lessons, grading papers, collaborating with other teachers, and reflecting on the day. Many teachers don’t have aides in their classroom, and those who do could often still use additional support for what is typically a one-man operation—and just as you have homework, they often bring work home as well! Even when all their books are closed and the last paper is graded, their minds are still busy considering what they could improve for tomorrow, next month, or even next year.
5. Their impact extends beyond academics
The impact from our teachers usually begins in the academic sense, but is often much more than that. Many teachers end up becoming mentors and role models for students. They offer another trusted, listening ear in your life for issues school-related and otherwise. These individuals provide great perspectives and resources for your future, and they are pillars of loyalty and encouragement.
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Take a moment to reflect on the ways the teachers in your lives have helped you on your journey. A word of thanks is always great, but if you’d like to take it a step further, think about perhaps making a gift (baked goods are often a good option!), buying a small item of appreciation, or going in with a group of friends or classmates for something larger and even more special. Your school might also celebrate National Teacher Day, so consider checking to see if you can help with the festivities. But in the end, what matters is that you have taken the time to think about what your teachers have done for you, and in turn, let them know what it means to you.
Happy National Teacher Day to all the great teachers out there!