by Hadar Dohn, Head of School
I am fascinated by bumper stickers. I read them and wonder, “Is this your one message to the world?” Yet, the one to which I find myself nodding in agreement states: “If you can read this, thank a teacher.” Well, teaching has moved beyond the three R’s, we need to thank teachers for more than just teaching us how to read. It is truly a profession of passion.
Teaching has gotten more complex over the years. With changing roles and responsibilities teachers often find themselves juggling new expectations, evaluating curricula, communicating with parents, colleagues, and administrators, and with a stronger desire than ever to meet the needs of every single child. Through their days, teachers struggle to find and maximize time, knowing that every moment counts.When I first left the classroom some ten years ago, my daughter asked me if it is harder being a teacher or an administrator. I had to answer that while I find administration more stressful, teaching was harder. I explained that at the very least, I had a door and my own schedule. Teachers have to be “on” all the time. They must maintain their focus or they will lose control. They must embrace change or they become stagnant. They continuously question and reflect, or they lose track of goals. And they do this, an incredible juggling act, with a roomful of youngsters endlessly jostling for their attention and guidance.
I am deeply grateful for the teachers at Hebrew Day School. Our children are blessed to be in an environment where children come first, everyone gets what they need, and the children’s emotional needs matter. Our teachers make this environment possible.
So the next time you see the “thank a teacher” bumper sticker, or perhaps you have one on your own car, take action. Call, email, or write a teacher, and share your appreciation. I know I need to heed my own advice.