Across America (TWP)
During Teacher Appreciation Week, teachers across the country were honored with numerous gift packages, ranging from the small but special to the large and luxurious. TWP surveyed teachers and found some interesting results of the weeklong marathon of love and mutual respect.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, 3rd grade teacher at Ross Elementary, Karen Morrison reported that she received a special email from the superintendent of schools which read, “As we close Teacher Appreciation Week, I want to say THANK YOU for all you do for our students! The single most important factor in our success as a school district is the quality teachers and staff we employ! We will continue to move forward and provide opportunities for our students because of you and your efforts! You are making a difference!”
Morrison noted that the proportion of exclamation points to white space in the email was surely evidence of great good will and sincerity, and she was pleased with this lone gift of her week, which came on Friday afternoon at 3:23. When asked if the email was sent to her personally or to every teacher in the district, Morrison declined comment.
Another special reward was reported by Evan Paterson, a middle school German teacher from Park City Schools, Utah. Paterson said that at a specially-called faculty meeting on Monday morning, the principal awarded each teacher a new bloodborne pathogens cleanup kit with their name on it.
Included in the baggie were a new pair of rubber gloves, 2 Band-Aids, a peppermint, and a ¼ of a roll of sterile bandage. Paterson said he used up all items that afternoon, so he was “especially grateful” for the thoughtful gift coming at such an opportune time.
Clarksville High School English teacher Brenda Turner reported on the Teacher Appreciation gift she received from her principal who was helping the counselor arrange end-of-instruction tests. Instead of teaching her normal afternoon classes, Turner would be monitoring the EOI test from 12:30-3:30. “It’s our gift to you,” her principal said.
“I figured it would be all right. I left some lesson plans and took a mystery book and some paper so I could read or write a little,” Turner said. However, Turner was scolded by the counselor administering the test, who was playing Minesweeper on the “monitoring screen,” when Turner pulled out the book. Told not to read or write, Turner sat numbly in a plastic chair for almost three hours, summoning up every poem she had ever memorized and crossing and recrossing her legs, since neither the principal nor the counselor had arranged for her to have a bathroom break.
“Yes, it was such a magnificent experience of appreciation,” Turner said. “I had to go to the doctor for a bladder infection the next day.”
Other reported teacher appreciation gifts included a teacher evaluation given to a sub because the actual teacher was proctoring a test, 25 cents for a free pencil from the school pencil machine, cake left over from the principal’s wife’s mother’s birthday celebration, 3 extra minutes for lunch, air conditioning (in a south Texas classroom), half a canister of puke sawdust, and a plastic keychain from the superintendent’s brother’s car dealership.
Alight with the glow of all the warm, thoughtful appreciation of the week, teachers continued on their educational journeys much refreshed and eager to earn more blanket exclamatory emails with the occasional glimpse of capital letters in THANK YOU.