Our teachers have worked so hard all year but especially and doubly hard these last four months.  They’ve had to spend long hours in the evening planning how to teach the next day’s lesson, how to get the next math concept, how to have a discussion on the English book that has been assigned (or which book to suggest so that it can be discussed), how to get the kids to understand the happenings in our history, how to continue the arts, how to interact with the students when they have questions about homework (or even what kind of homework to give), how to excite the kids about learning and, for the younger crowd, how to add, subtract, read, etc. 

I’ve talked to a teacher recently that is so happy summer has come because she is extremely exhausted trying to keep up the daily routine of teaching remotely and spending many 12 hour days planning her daily teaching program.  This teacher is one of the best teachers I have ever experienced.  The kids love her, love her attitude, love the way she teaches, love the unique concepts to learn that she invents.  There are teachers and school districts that I’ve heard about that have given all their children in their district a daily schedule to go by for the school day -- arise at 7:30, bathroom stuff, eat breakfast and then sit down to go to school, be prepared to be at the first couple of classes and then take a recess break, another class and then lunch, recess again and then two more classes and then pretend you’re walking home. 


One of the teachers asked what the kids wanted her to do during their recess breaks, and they said teach them how to cook something, how to do a craft or read parts of a book to them or challenging them to a walkathon to see how many times they can walk around the house in one-half hour. An art teacher decided to give an art lesson every day at 1 p.m. to all kids throughout the country to log in and learn the lesson of the week – drawing landscapes, animals, vehicles (this teacher was in North Carolina but our grandkids from Wyoming and Vermont took the class everyday).    

Our teachers are the most important step, after the parents, to life, learning, appropriate behavior – these teachers see kids five days a week and show them ways to be successful in life.  Teachers don’t see color, they see a student they can encourage, excite about learning and to set a goal and give hope so that they can be the best at that goal -- doctor, electrician, hair dresser, lawyer, engineer, chef, plumber, truck driver, farmer, astronaut, landscaper and 1,000s of more opportunities.    

My opinion here was written because teachers are the best and greatest! I see a few wonderful signs around The Valley about “We love our teachers!” However, have any of you parents written an end-of-the-year note to your child’s teacher telling how appreciative you are for his/her teaching your child this year? A short email will do and will make these past months a happy end to your child’s teacher’s stressful year.

Emory lives in Waitsfield, Vermont.