This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. Teaching is one of the most thankless jobs there is (besides raising kids) and let face it they do a smidge of the raising too. And, there are those kids that you have to wonder if they get any home training at all or if that burden is heaped on the teacher as well. I’m glad we have a week set aside to recognize these everyday heroes of our community. But, what I want to know is why this particular week?
I can tell you one thing. The people in charge of picking that week must have a screw loose. In some areas of the country, we are less than two weeks away from the last day of school. In others, there’s only a month to six weeks at best. And, I don’t know about you but I like giving end of the year gifts; it’s congratulations you made it and a thank you all rolled into one. I’ve been known to give our teachers gift cards to the local frou-frou liquor store. I figure if they don’t drink they can get some nice cheese or coffee. And, Teacher Appreciation Week always takes place right around Mother’s Day so you’re cash-strapped and frazzled as it is. Furthermore, our state has round two of state testing next week. I would be willing to bet my last dollar those teachers would prefer you skip all the tchotchkes and tell them that stupid test has been canceled. Or, maybe the lawmakers can stop tying their pay and raises to those stupid tests. Now that would really be a way to show appreciation.
As if all that wasn’t enough, in the past few years I have been getting these emails from PTA types asking for each child to bring in money or items for teacher treats. This year we got hit up for both the money and an item. Apparently, much like Red Ribbon Week, the PTA/Room Parents want to have a theme for the week and tie the prizes to the theme. For example, Monday was show your teacher how sweet they are with a sweet treat. Can you imagine getting 22 bags of candy and cookies? You know those teachers are giving half of that to their neighbors or spouse to take to their jobs or just plain throwing it away. They aren’t keeping all that crap. Today was you color my world so bring in art supplies. Yes, I know the classroom supply cabinet has been empty since the last week in January but ask for supplies then instead of right here at the bitter end.
Of course, no one is required to bring in anything. That is always made abundantly clear in the emails. But let’s be real, much like Jennifer Anniston’s pieces of flair in the movie, Office Space, if we don’t bring in something everyone will make a mental note that you and your child were the slack asses that couldn’t even manage a package of glue sticks. Of course, when the email came out I promptly sent in my two bucks per child and logged on to Sign Up Genius but you can bet I picked the most basic slack ass thing I could sign up for. No, I didn’t do that because I don’t think our teachers don’t deserve to be raised up. I absolutely know they do. I did that because I hate those stupid contrived thoughtful things. Those teachers know we were peer pressured into those gifts. And, as stated before, do they really want or need 22 bags of candy? Plus, I still plan to do end of year gifts. Remember my kids might be the reason those teachers drink so they will totally deserve those liquor store gift cards and I bet they will like that liquor store gift card a lot better than 22 glue sticks.