How to Thank a Teacher


It’s the final week of school for Charleston county and our family is practically limping our way across the finish line. The 180th day of school seems like a mirage in the desert—will we EVER get there? Does this elusive “last day” even exist? I’m pretty sure we’ve been in school for about ten thousand years. Surely, surely it’s been 180 days by now?!

The fact that my kids are making it to school before noon each day when school is nearly an hour away is a complete win in my book right now. Forget the fact that homework is nearly a lost cause or that we haven’t even brought book bags out of the car in over a week. Disregard the fact that my son wore a dirty uniform shirt inside-out the other day because I couldn’t bring myself to do ONE.MORE.LOAD. of uniform laundry. Could not. Last year when we were homeschooling we rocked pajamas from about the 150th day of school onward. I’m just celebrating the fact that my kids have on clothes and shoes. I don’t even care if they are matching shoes, just so long as there are two of them. Needless to say, Team Davis is doing what we have to do to survive this last stretch of the school year so that we can drag our feeble bodies over the finish line and move up a grade.

Oh, summer! Wherefore art thou??

With that said, I know these feelings are mutual on the teachers’ side too. The last week of school is just glorified babysitting. There is not enough money in the world to pay our teachers what they deserve for handling the last days with patience and grace and the where-with-all that they manage to pull off. I have no idea how they do it. How have they kept going? How have they managed to keep grading, keep assigning, keep pressing on? The only possible answer is that teachers have secret super powers. Plain and simple. Batman, Spiderman, Ironman, Captain America, and all of the Care Bears’ skills smashed together do not come close to comparing to the impressive super human-like stamina and iron will of teachers. Because they keep on keepin’ on, we keep on keepin’ on. We owe them much.

We owe them far more than just staying strong at the end of the year when all we want is to be done already. We owe our teachers so much, but we will never be able to thank them well enough. We cannot give them equal to what they have given our children because what they’ve given is invaluable. What end of the year gift communicates, “Thank you for equipping my child with the tools they will use for the rest of their life”? Certainly nothing found at Target. So, how do you thank a teacher for loving children not their own? For encouraging your children daily in the big and small things? For not giving up on them, even when they’ve given up on themselves? My level of indebtedness grows daily, right along with my pile of uniform laundry.

So as we limp across the finish line of the 2012-13 school year, I am increasingly thankful for all of the hard work and many sacrifices that our teachers have made to get us to this point. On behalf of all weary Moms, we say THANK YOU. We are tired, but not ungrateful. While our Room Mom skills have digressed since August, our children have continued to progress. And we know that YOU are a big part of that. You sacrificed your sanity in the month of May. You dragged us along with you and even carried us at times. You cajoled, cheered, and celebrated us every step of the way. You grew the brains and hearts and minds of our children. And by doing so, you invested in the success of our families.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You are our heroes.

I will never be able to fully express my gratitude. What I will do is forego the coffee mug with the apple on it. And I will even keep that handmade Pinterest project I made from old uniforms. Whatever I give you, please know that there are not enough dollars to express my gratefulness for the role you’ve played in my child’s life this year. Or the role you’ve played in helping me see it through to the end.

Enjoy your summer vacation! You deserve it.


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