Appreciating teachers in high school
A focus on Teacher Appreciation Week
The week of May 1-5 is Teacher Appreciation Week, where society shows its thanks and gratitude for its educators. That isawesome. Teachers should be put on a pedestal receiving praise; however, in some schools, they are not.
In elementary school, on every holiday and special day, such as the first and last days of the school year, young students showered their teachers with gifts and cards. It was the norm. Whether prompted by one’s self, or one’s parents, it was still a decent way to show thanks towards teachers.
In middle school, the gift-giving and praise-receiving died down just a bit, but was still prevalent amongst upstanding students and their educators.
In high school, the praise and admiration of teachers suddenly came to a complete stop. Now, students were ridiculing or avoiding their teachers as much as possible. All but the exception of a few, students stopped showering their teachers with signs of gratitude.
One might ask, “Well, why is this?”
“This was hard for me at first, but I’ve come to realize that teens, for me, just took a bit of getting used to. The love of learning I value so much is there, it’s just disguised behind the huge driving force to be socially correct in front of peers at all times,” said Melissa Purtee, a teacher, in an online blog on www.theartofed.com.
Peer pressure. That is why. Teens are so wrapped up into what others think of them, that they disregard simple things in life, like giving thanks to those that help them. If a teen student is seen giving gifts and showing gratitude towards a teacher, they are considered a “kiss-up.” Of course, being seen as such is simply not socially acceptable in the high school realm.
Long gone are the days of simply showing appreciation towards teachers. Teens have stopped caring about their relationships with their teachers; they disregard how important those adults are on one’s life and education.
“In loco parentis.” This is Latin for, “in the place of a parent,” which refers to the legal responsibility of a person or organization to take on some of the functions and responsibilities of a parent. These are exactly the rights afforded to the educators who the teens of today are neglecting to appreciate.
If one would appreciate their parents, then why can one not simply appreciate their teachers in a similar capacity?
Let’s remember that on average, by calculating the length of a 7 hour school day, multiplied by the school year length of 180 days, students spend about 1,260 hours with their teachers. That is a lot of time spent with somebody that students often forget, or neglect to show gratitude towards.
“I would say it’s different. But I don’t see it as a lack of appreciation, it’s just different for each grade level. It’s less of a celebration and more of a mature ‘thank you,’” said Mrs. Donna Roman, Freedom High School social studies department chair and teacher, when asked whether or not she saw a difference in the way teachers were treated by grade level.
According to an article by U.S. News, one way to solve this problem is through simple verbal encouragement; saying things like, ‘Thank you,' 'You are valuable' and a friendly 'Keep up the good work’ to teachers.
So this year, not just during Teacher Appreciation Week, but year-round, remember to show appreciation towards the people that are educating the engineers, government leaders, doctors, and business leaders of tomorrow.
Students, parents, and community members of all ages, step up. Step up and display affection to the often-times ignored educators. They deserve praise.
The Freedom Forum is an award-winning high school publication at Freedom High School in the Bethlehem Area School District in Pennsylvania. The organization publishes approximately 8 issues per school year and reports on local, as well as world, events.