Monday, November 14, 2011

Honoring the Deserving

VeteransDayLast Friday was Veteran’s Day. Maybe it was me and this always happened and I hadn’t paid attention. Or maybe this year more attention was made for honoring veterans. I noticed the usual town celebrations which are always a nice thing. But this year, there were more news stories about businesses giving free meals and services for military personnel and veterans. I saw these listed on local websites also. So, for the first time, we took advantage of one of these honors and went to Applebees so my husband (a veteran) could get a free meal.

All of the servers were wearing the same tshirt honoring Veteran’s Day. There was even a book to sign in that would be sent to those serving in Afghanistan. My husband was thanked for his service by the servers, managers, and even other diners. What a wonderful feeling of honor and celebration. It made me feel even more proud to be an American and warmed my heart..

Then I began thinking about honoring our teachers. I know we have Teacher’s Day sometime in the year but I’m not even sure of the “official” date. In the news, it seems like we hear all of the negative things that are going on in the school and crimes committed by teachers. The media seems to revel in the bad news.

I even see on one station that there is a “Golden Apple Award” for different teachers each week. I think that is a nice gesture but I also wonder if it makes the community complacent. I have heard people say that they don’t really pay that much attention to it. Someone has to nominate this teacher which is good if you have literate parents and students. But what about those who teach students who are either too young or not able to even fill out the nomination form? Many of the students in my special education class had parents that had learning problems themselves or the parents were so busy trying to survive that they didn’t have time for this nomination form.

I’m not saying that teachers make the same life sacrifices as veterans but let’s face it, everyone has had a teacher. Usually they had one teacher who impacted their lives. But I think we have watered down the appreciation system to where many really don’t seem to appreciate teachers and the difference they have made in many lives.

I think it is great to recognize great teachers and they should be recognized. But how do we get this positive attention to the forefront? How do we move it ahead of all the negative press? How do we get to where being honored really feels like an honor rather than lip service? I don’t have the answeres to these questions but it weighs on my mind often.

What do you think? What suggestions do you have?

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

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