The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Teacher Appreciation Week

Last Tuesday was National Teacher Appreciation Day but my school celebrates the entire week. Our lovely PTA provided some great treats, including chair massages, a tasty breakfast one day and a delightful lunch another day. I had students who brought small tokens of appreciation, ranging from handmade cards to several bars of dark chocolate (no milk chocolate because they know that I can’t shouldn’t have dairy products.

All week long I ruminated on the teachers in my own life that I owe a debt of gratitude. In years past, I have written about some of these teachers. (See here and here.) This year I wanted to publicly (sort of) say thank you to the teachers in my own building. I thought about writing a paragraph about each of the amazing women and men who work in my building, but that would push the limits of what even I am able to write in the brief time I have to reflect here, and I also don’t want to leave anyone out on accident.

So I hope that those who see this will accept this blanket statement of gratitude as my belated gift for them. From my first day at Wiley to today, I have felt only supported and encouraged by my colleagues. Whether it is partnering up with other teachers to do crazy projects or offering to shave my head if the students could log over 1,000,000 minutes of reading, to putting up with my constant discussions about educational technology to letting me pop into their rooms to observe or just say hello, I have been incredibly blessed to work in a school that embodies the culture of collaboration, collegiality, and cooperation. Thank you, one and all, for your support, your patience, and your professionalism.

I remember when we were interviewing candidates for our new principal and several would ask us why Wiley. They wanted to know what made us special. One of my colleagues, who spoke for all of us, said it is just one word: family.

Wiley Elementary School is so much more than jus a school. It is more than just a community. It is more than a place for me to work as an education. It is all of these things, yes, but more than those, it is a family. Sometimes we fight, sometimes we disagree, but that’s what families do. We don’t always hug it out like the end of a Full House episode, but we do forgive one another.

Thank you, Wiley staff, for being a part of my family!

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