Throughout our marriage, my husband and I have both had very busy spring seasons.
He is a CPA and “tax season” is always a very busy, intense time for him. In my world, “testing season” is also a very busy and intense time of year.
Many things have changed in the testing world in the last 30 years. I entered the education world preparing students for a TEAMS test, next came TAAS, followed by TAKS, and now STAAR.
Add progress monitoring, TELPAS, TPRI, Amplify and the list goes on. My 30-year journey as a teacher and administrator through South Texas schools has taken me through four districts and all grades between pre-K and junior high.
While many things have changed, what has not changed is that teachers continue to work hard and worry. Working in schools is challenging all year, but becomes more intense and high stakes each spring.
What also has not changed is the comradery that educators share with each other. Some of my very best lifelong friends I have met in schools. No one understands each other better than educators.
When you work on a campus for many years, you share all of life’s ups and downs with the people next door to your classroom, in your hallway, and in your lounge. No one is more supportive of your children’s successes or will share your family heartache like your school family. Schools become a family of students and adults.
We can disagree fiercely, but immediately defend a co-worker in a time of need. I have seen teachers discipline students on a Monday and cry at the end of the week when they hear of a difficult family circumstance that may affect a student.
Teachers who have reputations for being strict and stern also love their students and most have shed tears worrying about their students at one time or another. Holding students and each other to high standards is often a way of expressing love.
I have tried to eat healthily as I plan for my daughter’s June wedding. That is a goal I will not meet this year. The love language is food on our campus.
We celebrate and honor each other with luncheons, cake, birthday bags, notes, gifts, and appreciation any opportunity we get. I often wonder if other careers and jobs can have as much fun as a bunch of teachers at the end of a long day. Even on the hardest of days, I can hear people laughing and supporting each other.
Teacher Appreciation Week is right around the corner (May 3-7). Educators deserve our respect and admiration every day and one week doesn’t seem like enough time to shower them with the attention they deserve.
I can assure you that most teachers are working hard and worrying. Thank a teacher today!
Cindy Miller is principal of Three Rivers Elementary