In this Teacher’s Day op-ed, one mother shares her heart about how we should see and treat teachers.
“Teacher”. Or just “Cher”. A word that may strike fear, or bring a smile to one’s face. No matter what memories “Teacher” brings back, every one of us have had teachers in our lives whom we remember for having made a deep impact on us during our growing-up years.
That teacher who believed in us before we believed in ourselves.
That teacher who took time to prepare her lessons so that they would be fun yet educational.
That teacher who spotted our gifts and talents before we knew what they were.
Teacher. Such a big word for a big job. To many teachers, what they do goes beyond a job. It is a calling unto a role that is bigger than a person, because a teacher can make a positive difference in lives, not just for students, but also families.
Not only do teachers need to teach academics, but they also need to build strong character in their students. They need to bring learning outside the classroom; in fact, many teachers don’t just bring learning out of the classroom, they bring them out of the country so that our children can learn about new cultures and experiences.
There is often so much to do, so little time. So much lesson preparation. So many meetings to attend. So many students to meet for consultation after school. So many different types of parents to meet, many with their own unique needs and challenges.
Yet, a teacher is a fellow human being. Someone who may have a parent who is ill, or a child who has special needs. Someone who may be struggling to balance part-time studies, full-time work and very young children. Someone who could be adjusting to being a widow or widower, or adjusting to being a new parent.
How can we better support the teachers in our lives? My suggestion is, simply show them LOVE:
Listen to what they share about our children without being defensive or judgmental. Children may behave differently at home and in school, so it is important to be open to different perspectives of how our children behave and learn.
Be Open to new perspectives on how our children are taught in schools, and how they can learn. Technology is changing the way the world works, and our children are learning new skills that are needed to navigate in the complex world of the future.
Volunteer to help teachers whenever they need. Offer them our time, expertise or resources to enrich the learning of the students.
Encourage our children’s teachers. It can be a simple acknowledgement of their work, or a simple email of appreciation.
This Teachers’ Day, let’s be thankful for the teachers in our lives. Let’s keep them in prayer, and ask God to provide them with wisdom from above, and the discernment to train up children in the way they should go.
Carol Loi is a civil servant with two school-going children.