Celebrating teachers everywhere

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 8, 2004

Tuesday, schools across the nation celebrated National Teacher's Day. Though the day was a nice gesture it hardly does justice to what these people do every day.

It takes a special kind of person to be a teacher. In order to do this job and do it well, a lot of work and understanding comes with the territory.

Patience is a virtue and teachers have a ton of it.

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Imagine yourself surrounded by kids.

If you need help getting the mental image imagine yourself as a teen or elementary school student and how difficult you were to deal with.

Now multiply that by 20.

That is a pretty scary concept to me, but these people deal with it every day.

As a matter of fact, they not only deal with it, they listen and create a better situation.

The teacher wears many hats. They play the role of hero, friend, and authority figure.

Incorporating all of these into one personality is like walking a tightrope.

Teachers have to keep a perfect balance between friend and educator in order to make a difference.

Teachers also have to play the role of mediator between children and their parents. It is their duty to make sure that students do their best and let the parents know if there is a problem.

Many times if there is a problem the teacher takes the heat.

But they come back every day determined to let the students know that they are there for them.

In order to do this they put a lot of their own interests on the back burner.

Teachers make a lot of personal sacrifices to better serve their students.

On numerous occasions I have heard stories of teachers buying supplies and other items out of their own pockets just so their students would have a better situation.

That's dedication.

Aside from the monetary sacrifices that teachers make, they also give up free time.

Even when school is out teachers still dwell within the classroom grading papers or listening to problems that students have.

A teacher's workday is never really over. They are in a sense on call around the clock.

Even during summer break teachers are hard at work. Many times educators spend their "off time" at their schools making repairs such as painting rooms, or general preparations for the upcoming year.

Most people do not know about all the hard work that goes on during what are supposed to be the leisurely months of summer.

Just because you don't see the teachers does not mean that they are not working.

I am very biased because I have had some wonderful teachers in my time. They tolerated my shortcomings and taught me the keys to learning from my mistakes.

Though I may not have shown my appreciation at the time, I am more than willing to look them up when I go home.

It is very important to let these people know that their efforts are appreciated.

So the next time you see a teacher that may not be having the best of days give them a hug.

They are in one of the toughest of professions and need to know that they are loved.

Rick Couch may be reached at

383-9302, ext. 132 or

via email at rick. couch@greenvilleadvocate.com.