It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, at least here in these parts. As you might guess, I have a bit of a beef with it.
First of all, I’m not exactly sure when it became Teacher Appreciation WEEK. I’m pretty sure it was sometime in the last few years, as I don’t remember an entire week being devoted to this until the last handful of years or so. Why a whole week? Why isn’t a day enough? Who decided this, and how did it become just the way it is? I think the fact that it comes right on the heels of Mother’s DAY kind of rubs me the wrong way. We mothers, who invest blood, sweat, and tears, not to mention time, money, and sanity, into these kids for a LIFETIME get a DAY of official appreciation each year. Teachers, who invest in our kids for NINE MONTHS get an entire WEEK of official appreciation. There’s something wrong with the math there.
What irks me the most about it is that it’s taken any joy out of showing genuine, voluntary appreciation by making it obligatory. It was tacky enough (in my estimation, anyway) when the room parents would send out a list of what sort of appreciation should be shown on which day of the week – i.e., Monday is Favorite Drink Day, Tuesday, bring the teacher a flower, and so on. Now, this is sent home:
Each child is actually assigned a day on which to show his or her appreciation. The parents are not asked if this is okay, or convenient, or whatnot. It’s just assigned. Like the tip jars you now see everywhere you turn, appreciation is apparently no longer optional or based on merit, it is now mandatory. I’m sorry, but appreciation is not appreciation if it’s expected. How are we supposed to deal with this situation if it’s a teacher we’re actually rather undazzled by?
The whole thing is overkill if you ask me. And it kind of dilutes the appreciation one might actually want to show for a special teacher.
If it were up to me, there would be Teacher Appreciation DAY. Perhaps the room parents might send a note home a few days beforehand every year, just a little reminder. And then let the cards fall where they may. Parents and students would actually be allowed to show appreciation in their own way for teachers they actually appreciate.