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Teacher Appreciation Week is coming. As a former teacher, now parent, several times a week school volunteer, and long-term PTA member, I appreciate teachers and school staff daily. They are the most amazing humans. They do so much for so little, and I am so thankful for their efforts!

There are some professions out there that just don’t get enough recognition, and teaching is one of them. Teachers are so much more than people who stand in front of students and talk for a few hours. Not only do teachers have to be smart and well educated, they must be able to understand people, and have a passion for what they do. There is no job quite like being an educator; it is stressful, trying, and hard, but the reward is unlike any other. Teachers are required to take on an almost infinite array of responsibilities and do so without being fazed.

Most parents rarely stop to think about the commitment and personal sacrifice that teachers make on a regular basis. It seems that the only times we communicate with our kids’ teachers is when there is a problem. As parents, we expect the teachers to stop everything in order to make our children the number one priority. Well, the good news is that most teachers do exactly this. Teachers work tirelessly to make sure that every student receives the best possible education.

Teaching is not an easy career to go into, yet it is one of the most important professions in our culture. Teachers play a critical and invaluable role in preparing our kids — tomorrow’s adults — for life outside the classroom. Even though educators are the backbone of our schools, the structure of the education system in the United States is not set up to adequately support them. In fact, it often puts them in challenging situations. When it comes down to it, schools have a responsibility to the citizens in their communities, and our teachers need more of us to advocate and partner with them on their behalf. They need us to raise our voices for a stronger education system that supports them, while offering better pay and more opportunities for career advancement.

We can start the work by getting involved in our schools, talking to our administrators and school board members, and teaching our kids about the importance of learning. The future of a society depends on the quality of education its next generation receives and the character of the children it nurtures. So, thank you to all the teachers out there — we see you, we need you, and we are grateful for your commitment to our children and our future.

If you are a parent with children in school, be sure both you and your child make their teachers feel special this upcoming Appreciation Week and throughout the school year! I couldn’t be the Suburban Goddess Mom without my teachers growing up and the partnership with my kids’ teachers now!

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