Educators deserve more recognition

Remember when we were younger and we would get so excited to go to Meet the Teacher Night — to see who was in our class, find our new desk, and see the colorful and well decorated classroom? We never really think much about how the classroom and bulletin boards were so creatively decorated. We don’t really think about how we didn’t have enough school supplies when we brought them in, but our classrooms were somehow fully stocked the rest of the year. The job of a teacher is hard, at times expensive and underappreciated, but many continue to teach because they see how rewarding it can be. Despite the joy that can come along with their career choice, the expectations of teachers continue to grow, which includes preparing for the worst — school shootings.  

The past few years has shown an increase in school shootings and violence, the job qualifications of teachers are changing. My mom is a first grade teacher and was required to participate in a program that not only ran teachers through drills in which they were placed in different school shooting scenarios, but also taught teachers first aid and how to make tourniquets with different classroom supplies. The fact is, it’s terrifying to think this could be a teacher’s — my mom’s — reality.

Teachers did not sign up to save lives, but they are now being put in situations where they have to. Suddenly their jobs aren’t all about education, but rather about protecting their “children.” As teachers go to work, they are now potentially risking their lives because, if put in a scenario, they will make the choice to protect their students. Teachers care and are invested in the well-being of each of their students. As much as teachers impact students, students impact teachers. I have run into teachers I haven’t seen in over 11 years that still remember me by name.  

Teachers need to be recognized more often, and students and parents alike should be aware of the sacrifices being made for them. Teachers do so much for so little. Thanks also should be given to students that understand how the field is changing but are still pursuing a career in education. Being a teacher should not be a scary job, but in today’s society, it is.

So, thank you to teachers at all levels of education. Thank you.