Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Happy Teacher Appreciation WeekA shout-out to all the classroom teachers out there this Teacher Appreciation Week!

Hearty thanks to each & every one of you for all that you do to help students of all ages learn what they want and need to know.

I come from a family of educators, so I know the struggles. My grandfather, G.M.C. Massey, taught in one-room schoolhouses in rural Texas in the early 20th Century. My mom taught high school mathematics for nearly twenty years. My brother taught one hundred semesters — 30+ years with summer semesters! — in the Houston Community College system. So many of my aunts and uncles and cousins have been teachers, I could not possibly list all of their names here.

Me, I never wanted to be a teacher. It took me years to truly appreciate the role they played in my life. Mostly, I tested my teachers’ patience while I was going to school. I recall specific elementary teachers because I got in trouble in their classrooms so often. My middle school teachers remain a blur because I’d learned to lay low and just do the work by then. High school seemed more like an endurance contest than education, though I certainly had a few good teachers.

I cannot imagine being my teacher. I’d’ve hated to have me as a student, that’s for sure! Looking back, I appreciate the perseverance of any teacher who had to deal with me and all teachers running any classroom of kids.

I know I couldn’t do it. Sure, I spent 10 years as a classroom trainer at the Brown Schools. But training a group of adults for a week on specific but limited job skills does not begin to compare to what every classroom teacher does all the time, day in, day out. That was clearly beyond what I could do.

Even when I went back to graduate school in education, it was not to become a teacher. No, I wanted to design and develop training materials. My freelance work emphasized corporate training, but would eventually include writing educational materials.

Each of the educational projects I worked on reminded me of the incredible role the classroom teacher plays, like some sort of wizard evoking understanding from the student. I found my appreciation growing from afar. By the time I helped prepare some teacher training materials, I felt humbled being asked to help these living wizards do their jobs. I learned more from them on each of those projects than I could ever teach them.

So, here’s to all the teachers out there, the workers of wonders who help us all learn how to grow into our strengths.


About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
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