It’s Teacher Appreciation Week. This year, however, it feels like it’s hitting a bit different. Many teachers are tired. And frustrated. And want the world to know that real appreciation isn’t a mug or a muffin. When classroom teacher Nicholas Ferroni went on Twitter to encourage educators to share what it might look like #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, it went viral in a hurry. And many teachers are using the opportunity to tell the world what real appreciation for the work they do would look like. Here are just a few of their suggestions.
We could talk about problems in education without being ignored or accused of “whining.”
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, parents would listen to and support teachers when they raise issues affecting working conditions and low morale, not dismiss them as being whiny and unprofessional. —Irene R.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, we’d talk at them less and listen to them more. —Dr. Cynthia W.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, then they could say, “I’m a teacher” to new people and not immediately wonder if they’re going to go on a rant. —Willie C.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, parents would respect the expertise that comes with those advanced degrees and years of experience teaching hundreds if not thousands of students. —@knit2Btried
We’d be paid a salary that accurately reflects the amount of work we do each day.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, we would pay them enough to afford family health insurance (or create an affordable system) so they could adequately provide care for their OWN sick children. —Heather C.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, student teachers would get some sort of allowance or stipend for gas to get them back and forth to the full-time job that they are working for free. —@jdgwrites
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, teachers wouldn’t have to take out $20,000 loans to pay for grad school just to have the continuing ed credits to keep their jobs. —Nate E.
- #IFWeAppreciatedTeachers, we’d pay them their worth. —S.Marie P.
- #IFWeAppreciatedTeachers, we’d pay them on an equal basis with other careers requiring the same education and experience. —@NatsRetiredMusicTeachr
Our professional abilities would be trusted and respected.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, we would respect them as the professionals they are and not treat them like glorified babysitters. —Christina K.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, we would listen to them when crafting education policies instead of politicians, data experts, big testing companies and people from ivory towers who never spent more than five minutes in a classroom. —@SjTArizona
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, we would trust them enough to lead important conversations about the needs of our children and the future of education. —@pcbrynn
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, we’d thank them more frequently. Acknowledge their expertise and difficult line of work. Listen to them. Trust them. And do whatever we can to keep them. —Lance P.
The mental health and wellness of both teachers and students would be taken seriously.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, we’d hire enough school counselors so that teachers would not also have to handle mental health crises on top of … everything else. —@theDRAMAgoat1
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, we would be as concerned about SEL for the staff as we do the kids. —Karen S.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, we would take care of educators mental health and provide more support. —Christina V.
We wouldn’t have to pay for supplies to teach other people’s children.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, there would be glamorous galas for educators where school supplies would be unlimited and flashes of support would replace flashes of cameras and paparazzi. —Tracey R.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, they wouldn’t have to purchase their own supplies for their classrooms or post them on social media for strangers to buy for them. —@Ldev101
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, I wouldn’t spend an hour each day on Twitter begging for #teachertwitter to #clearthelist for basic school supplies, manipulatives, engagement materials and snacks for my students. —Carmen K.
The growing teacher shortage would be given the serious attention it deserves.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, there would not be a teacher shortage. —Mayria L.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, teachers wouldn’t be leaving in droves as a form of self-care and/or self-preservation. —Suzanne J.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, teachers would not be quitting in droves. —@skifter1992
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, teacher education programs wouldn’t be experiencing record low enrollment numbers. —Leigh C.
We wouldn’t be used as political pawns.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, I wouldn’t have to be fighting with strangers on social media that we are not “groomers,” “socialists,” and “indoctrinating children.” I am SO DONE defending what I do and AM. —Terry H.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, I wouldn’t be accused of indoctrinating my students when I’m having enough trouble trying to get them to turn in assignments on time! —Joel M.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, we would be finding solutions that focus on the real issues in the classroom instead of the made-up ones politicians have created. —Amy W.
- #IfWeAppreciatedTeachers, I could watch or listen to the news without feeling like the pundit talking was actively trying to make people hate teachers. —Michael W.
What would you add? Join the conversation in our WeAreTeachers Facebook Group and let us know!
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.