It truly is the most wonderful time of the year: Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. The one week of the year where education professionals finally get the recognition that they have been longing for all year long. After months of hard work for no reward (besides, ya know, money) the world stops spinning to admire those people who tend to its future.
Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week surely began simply as Teacher Appreciation Day, but – as I have detailed before – no one complains quite like the people who teach your children how to read, add, and remember important dates and facts. So a day became a week. And not to be ignored, the myriad para-educators and office workers and volunteers demanded that the “and Staff” modifier be added to the celebration. And boy am I glad they did.
Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week is the time when principals and administrators bring in breakfast and lunch for their team. Bagels, coffee, pasta, sushi – it all flows like the milk and honey God assured the Hebrews they would find in Israel back in Moses-times (there’s not so much of that there these days).
Along with the food, one might expect actual gratitude. Your mileage is going to vary on that front – adults will probably give it up, but students will be less likely to do so, especially when prompted by the principal. My personal Appreciation Week was marked by getting sick and enduring abuse from a student who was mad because I wouldn’t let him play on the computer when he was supposed to be working. That’s a pretty standard week.
But the free meals and the non-existent appreciation from students are not the reasons why we educators do what we do. We aren’t waking up early and working long hours for accolades. Or even for thank yous. No, we’re doing it for the Chipotle.
Chipotle, the famed Mexican food restaurant, is one of several chains that chooses to celebrate Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. On Tuesday they opened their doors to educators of all shapes and sizes (probably hedging toward the bigger end of both spectrums) and offered two burritos, bowls, etc. for the price of one.
I wait all year for this. It’s the whole reason I work at a high school.
Maybe I should rethink my life.
You might expect less complaining during Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week, but nothing can stem that tide. At least these poor people are contented for a brief period of time while they eat their second burrito, wondering if all of the hard work and poor pay is worth it. Are they wasting what once looked to be a promising future? Things could be worse for the teachers though – at least they aren’t staff.