The week of May 3rd-7th was teacher’s appreciation week! I call this my first real teacher’s week because well COVID happened last year and we couldn’t really celebrate like how we wanted to. I mean admin at my school did what they could but it just wasn’t the same. They gave us lunch one day and the other day they gave us a choice between plants or a healthy snack…I chose plants.
I didn’t know what to really expect from teacher’s appreciation week. I mean to be 1000% honest, I definitely wanted gifts I mean, it’s kind of nice. I love receiving gifts (although that’s not one of my love languages surprisingly) so I was hype to finally receive some. I was looking forward to the store and restaurant discounts and….it was awful. First I saw that McDonalds was offering free coffee and a breakfast item during the week but when I went to two different ones, they said they weren’t offering that deal so that was a bummer. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t eat McDonalds much but free is free. Target let me down too because I’m a circle member and they sent an email either Saturday night or Sunday saying that Sunday was the last day to use their extra 10% off discount (which brings the discount to 20%). I was so sad I couldn’t use it because I was not going to rush there on a Sunday.
As for the week at school, it was also state testing which made the week suck even more. I’m already salty over the fact that they made students test even though…COVID. They weren’t ready. This was not a normal year and our governor decided upon himself that students needed to the test. In my aunt’s state, Maryland, they’re postponing testing for another year…they know that the kids aren’t ready (that state made a wise choice). Needless to say, they weren’t prepared and we teachers did the best we could to prepare them for it. They were doing ELA FSA (Florida state assessment) on May 3rd and 4th and the Math FSA on May 6th and 7th.
My week started off kind of shaky. The day before, on the 2nd, I got my second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The first dose went okay, except 24 hrs after the first dose, my arm was throbbing and then 24hrs later, my body felt like I got hit with a truck. With that experience in mind and the horror stories I heard from others with their second dose, I was terrified and sure enough, the next day, on the first day of testing, I felt miserable. My body was hurting so much, I had a headache, and I was nauseous. We weren’t allowed to call out so I had to show up. The expectation was for teachers to walk around the entire time while they’re testing. We weren’t allowed on our computers unless it was to reach out to someone regarding questions or bathroom breaks. So me dealing with the side effects of the second dose was not fun at all. I told admin my situation and they let me go home after my group was done testing.
I wasn’t able to get the donut and coffee which sucked but I was able to go home and rest as much as I could. When I came to work the next day, I started receiving gifts from some of the students. My heart was so glad that I was getting some stuff. Some were hand drawn cards and drawings, others were letters of appreciation. I got cards, gift cards, candy, and more. It felt nice to be honest because sometimes (a lot of times) teaching feels like a thankless job. People are always telling you what to do. Telling you that you’re basically a baby sitter. The pay is rotten and the rules are just plain old unfair. There’s a reason we have a teacher shortage and a lot of teachers leave the field within the first three years.
I’m sure some people would question why I teach and honestly, I do it to get to what I want to do. I want to become a reading coach and it seems like I need to teach first for some years before I can become a coach. Besides, for loan forgiveness, I have to teach at a Title I school for 7 years and they’ll forgive like 20,000 (I believe). Until then, I will roll with the punches. I have super hard days. I have moments when I want to call out and stay home and cry. I show up and give my all every day.
Teachers aren’t being lazy. We’re working with what we can. A lot of stuff we do comes out of pocket which sucks because….we don’t get paid that much. Especially this year, we have barely been given adequate PPE and full classrooms. Us teachers are riding the struggle bus, especially during a pandemic.
How are you showing appreciation to a teacher in your life?