We are educators…
This week, schools and communities all across America are celebrating “Teacher Appreciation Week.” It’s a time set aside to show our appreciation to the people who have dedicated their lives to helping our children learn and grow. Personally, I believe it’s about 51 weeks too short, but that’s a discussion for another day. However, the recognition got me thinking about how we define the word “teacher.”
Of course, it can refer to what we typically think of as a classroom teacher… the person who’s name is on the classroom door and on the top of the report card when it goes home each nine weeks. I’m sure that when Teacher Appreciation Week was conceptualized, those are the individuals they had in mind. The dedication it takes to be a classroom teacher is enormous. It’s a position that requires a huge amount of preparation, professional learning, data review, content knowledge, and teaching skill. Combine a full-time teacher, social worker, parent, friend, statistician, mentor, student, and advocate… That’s a more complete picture of what it actually takes to be a teacher today.
But what about all the other people that contact and influence our children each day? Aren’t they “teachers,” just as well? What about the bus driver that may spend an hour each day with our children and likely learns more about their ins and outs then we’ll ever know? What do they teach our kids about reliability, safety, and friendship? What about the cafeteria workers that are there each day with friendly faces and a hot meal? Aren’t they providing life lessons in nutrition, service, and teamwork? The examples are found all throughout our workforce, schools, and community, and they give their best to support the 7,000 children that enter our schools each day.
In Kingsport, we don’t just refer to this week as “Teacher” appreciation week, because we feel that every one of our employees contributes to the growth of our students. We believe that all KCS employees, regardless of job title, are educators. It’s a group of over 1,100 diverse individuals that give their very best to our children, and deserve our thanks, not just this week, but all throughout the year.
So to the teacher, instructional assistant, secretary, bookkeeper, office assistant, custodian, bus driver, maintenance worker, counselor, nurse, cafeteria worker, therapist, psychologist, curriculum coordinator, technology specialist, coach, finance worker, administrator, and all other educators that work for Kingsport City Schools, we thank you. Not just today or during Teacher Appreciation Week, but each and every day of the year. You continually give of yourself to improve our children, and for that, we are eternally grateful.
We are educators… We are KCS.