Good Job, Teach

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I freely admit it. I’ve taken teachers for granted. Sure, as a kid, you wanted the ones that weren’t too hard on you when you screwed up, or maybe
the ones who never noticed when you did.
As a parent, you merely hope they will turn your children into the smartest kids in town. We look at state rankings of schools and hope ours is smarter than that dumb school down the street. Because, by God, my kid needs to have a good job someday so I’m not supporting them till they’re 35.
I’ll admit it. When I get my kid’s report cards, or test scores, or whatever, I congratulate my kids for the good grades, and question the teachers about the bad ones.
Then, it hit me.
When your 4 year old, who’s never been more than 8 feet away from you is dropped off at school for the first time, and you’re at work all day stressing about it, the teacher is the one with him, making sure he’s ok.
When your house is just so loud from your 2 or 3 kids being cooped up all summer, and you can’t wait for the house to be quiet again, the teacher is the one who happily receives them.
When a kid is having problems at home, the teacher is the one that comforts them and gives them a sense of normalcy.
When you get a call that the school is on lockdown, because of whatever craziness is going on in the world at that time, the teacher is the one who is there to comfort them.
When an EF-5 tornado is zeroed in on your kid’s school, and you are 10 miles away, helpless and hopeless to reach them in time, the teacher is the one who makes sure they are in a safe place.
When that same tornado, or even a crazy person with a gun, enters the school, and attempts to take the life of your child, and you wish you were there to jump in the way, the teacher is the one who does.
This is for all the teachers who I ever had, and every teacher my kids ever had, or will ever have. You may have never had to take a bullet for me, or protect my child from a falling wall, but it wasn’t until now that I realized, you totally would have.
I apologize for never treating you with the proper respect. The same respect we give our fireman and our policeman, should have been given to you.
Thank you for everything you ever did, and everything you were in position to do, but never had to.
Good job, teach.

Bo Wright

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138 thoughts on “Good Job, Teach

  1. Ann

    I tried to send a message via fb, but since your page doesn’t have that option, I’m glad you have a website. Yes, this post is being shared in astounding numbers and I wanted you to know its not only in OK. I am in PA, and your post is circulating here. Beautiful words written. We may be half way across the country, but rest assured we are praying for all of you daily and doing donation drives. We want to do our part to help our fellow brothers and sisters in OK as I’m sure does the rest of the Country. God Bless you and all from OK. ❤

    • I had a pretty rough week at school with parent emails, state laws, and the data collection that will label my students, and be used as my evaluation. I read your blog and I am now crying. Thank you so much for your kind words. I am completely believing that you are talking right to me, haha. And I would totally take down a code red intruder. I even have the bat next to the classroom door for just that purpose.

  2. Reese Gibson

    Bo, thank you for everything you said. As a teacher I can tell you that the reason we do those things is that we love our students and it is the right thing to do.

  3. Jen

    Thank you for this post…I am a teacher in California and it somehow reached me all the way over here! Hoping and praying, along with the rest of the country, for relief for all of you! And yes, it is so true, we teachers give and would give so much for our kiddos!

  4. Jennifer

    Hi Bo,

    I couldn’t comment on your post on FB, and FB was going to charge me money to send a message to you, so I’m glad I can comment here. I am a first grade teacher out in California, and as tomorrow is our last day this year, I have been doing a lot of reflecting. I read your post tonight and it moved me to tears. I was so touched! Like your fifth grade teacher, my students are my ‘kids’, my babies; well, for at least 7 hours a day. The most meaningful gift I can be given is just to be appreciated by parents. Hearing a thank-you, a simple thank you – better yet, getting a thank you letter, means so much more to me than any gift. (I always keep them and usually re-read them several times). Thank you again for your words. (And I re-read your post several times too)!! Already shared it!

    • What?? Facebook was trying to charge you to send me a message? That is so weird. I apologize for that. Thank you for contacting me here. It means a lot to hear all the good things from teachers all over the world. I really only wrote it because I wanted the teachers I know to know they’re appreciated, and for the parents I know to step up. I didn’t do it for thousands of shares and for accolades and I never dreamed it would bring a 1st grade teacher in California to tears. That just blows my mind. Thank you so much for your kind words. God bless you in all you do, and I hope your last day of school is awesome. And thanks for sharing!

      • Lynn

        Your words have touched this second grade teacher in Florida. Thank you so.

        BTW, Facebook charges to send a message to anyone who is not on your friend list if it is not associated with a friend request. It is to keep spammers from flooding messages to its members.

      • Christy

        I am a teacher in Indiana. I appreciate what you said. Short, but very meaningful. Thank you for helping us all to take a moment to appreciate what others do for us.

  5. Natalie

    Thank you. As a teacher, it doesn’t take more than a few minutes for my students to become “my kids”. I treat them just as I do my own daughter. I proudly show them off when they graduate from college, have children, achieve job promotions, etc. I grieve with them when they are hurting and I lift them up when they are down. I pray for them. I share encouraging words with them and I know that I’d lay down my life for them. They are mine forever.

  6. janet sabaka

    From a teacher in Florida….thank you for your words. …and we never forget “our kids”…and…congratulations on all your shares…you made us all smile thru tears this morning…:-)

  7. Debbie O'Neal

    Bo I am a teacher in Delaware. I really appreciate everything you said and thank you from the bottom of my heart for actually posting what you think. After 32 years there are a lot of “my kids” out there and I can only hope I touched one this much. Thank you again for posting these wonderful words I can tell you that you will touch teachers EVERYWHERE!

  8. Please understand that my comments come from a place as an educator. I appreciate your sentiments of thanks for keeping your kids safe. However, we do so much more than that. We have a moral purpose to do what most parents aren’t capable of doing. We provide an education. We do so much more every day than protect.
    Teachers make a child’s future possible. We are the means that enable the answer to the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
    Sadly, we are often used as political pawns. Our jobs, salaries and retirement accounts are subject to the whims of elected officials who have little understanding of our jobs or the reasons we do it so well.
    Please don’t misunderstand me. I appreciate your comments. My point is that teachers are heroic every day, not just when there’s a disaster.

    • He knows this. I was able to send him a FB message and he replied. He was just so overwhelmed with the tornado in Moore and he wanted to express his deep gratitude. I felt validated by his letter.

  9. Bo, God bless you and your family and friends in the aftermath of that horrible tornado.

    Your Facebook status was shared by an educator friend of mine here in Texas and I’m about to re-share your words there and on Twitter. I am so very sorry for the events that precipitated these words, but so grateful for them at the same time. As I finish my 20th year in education, I can tell you that words of appreciation never lose their ability to lift people up. Your words have lifted up untold numbers of educators since their posting, and they will continue to do so.

    Politics and rhetoric about education today often cloud an important and profound truth: When it comes to the heart of it all, the number one thing that parents and teachers want is for their children to be loved and safe as they grow and learn. To the point where we would lay down our lives for them. Recent tragic events have reminded us of this. I can only hope that as we continue to work for the best for children going forward, we will not forget that the children are ALWAYS what matters most.

  10. Well done Bo! This so needed! I have shared your FB post on my FB page to keep pushing it forward. It is now circulating the NY area and beyond.
    Our country needs to step up to the plate as you did and recognize how important teachers are in our lives. Everyone can think of a teacher they had that has made an impression in their lives, affected their lives in a very good way.
    Best wishes to you and to all who are working to help those whose lives were disrupted by the tornados.
    Please accept my THANK YOU to the many I’m sure you’ll receive.

  11. I am a first grade teacher in Illinois and I just wanted to thank you for your post. It moved me to tears. Many of us in the teaching profession have been feeling pretty beat up lately so it is especially encouraging to hear from someone who really understands and appreciates who we are and what we do. My students are “my kids” and I always try to be the teacher that I would want for my own kids. I have shared your post with my colleagues on Facebook; I hope every teacher gets a chance to read it!

  12. Megan

    Bo, thank you for your kind words. I’ve heard it said that teachers call their students their “kids” because for the year we teach them and all the years that follow, they are. It’s easy for teachers to get discouraged in the current teacher-bashing climate we have politically, but when words like yours are expressed, and certainly when they take on a life of their own and spread across the country, it gives us hope that even if politicians can’t see our value, the communities we teach and live in do.

  13. cathy

    Bo, thank you so much for sharing this post. I saw it on Facebook, shared it on my page, then realized that I am not friends with most of my children’s teachers. Thanks for adding the blog info-now I can email it to the ones who deserve to read it. Thank you for express your gratitude so eloquently, and sharing it with the world!

  14. Amber

    As a teacher in Michigan where everything we do from the education we receive to our unions to the hours we work to the calls home we make are under attack its the wonderful simple thank yous that remid us that what we do really is a calling to help others. As silly as it sounds to some, we educate yes, but we counsel, lead, help facilitate moral growth, hug, heal, give smiles, a voice, an ear, a friend, a mother, a father, a disciplinarian, a historian, a hero, a cheerleader, a photographer, a chef, a wallet, a pencil, a calendar, a dictaphone, a sounding board, a motivational speaker and as sad events of Sandy Hook and Oklahoma have shown, life saving and calm in the face if danger. Thank you for your thanks. It’s simple but profound for us to be recognized in this day an age.

  15. Thanks for such an honest and vivid post. I’ve been an educator for 16 years and everything you referenced about teachers is true! I wouldn’t think twice to stand in harm’s way to protect a student. Very well said!

  16. Susan Kuhn

    As a teacher, Thank You so much!!!!!!! You hit the nail on the head regarding how much further our responsibities go beyond the 3 Rs. Most teahers would do anything to protect their students in any situation. I know I would. Thaks again for this post.

  17. Northern Music Teacher

    Hi, I’m a teacher in Northern Canada. We may not have tornados up this far, but we feel the same way about “our” kids. Thanks so much for this post; as I enter the final five weeks of school, with stresses and pressures that go with that, a happy tear is a good thing 🙂

  18. Sheri

    Thank you from a 3rd grade special education teacher in Ohio….we don’t do what we do for the accolades, we do it because we love “our kids” and love what we do! I feel blessed every day to go into my classroom and make a difference in my students lives. Whether that be with a kind word, a hug, celebrating their accomplishments, drying their tears, putting on a band-aid! I hope we never experience anything so horrific as a gunman or an F-5 tornado, but if we do, I would do whatever it takes to keep “my kids” safe! Thanks again!

  19. Thank you! I wish more parents would have the same revelation you expressed so simply ~ yet ~ powerfully. I will defend my students to the end ~ whether it is a physical defense or ~ as I did just a few weeks ago ~ defend them against the “powers that be” who wanted to change graduation requirements a week before graduation. I took “them” on for “my kids” and burned some bridges ~ but ~ the “powers” backed down. And ~ I will do it again.
    Thank you again!

  20. Shay McWain

    Brought tears to my eyes, & shared it for others to read…
    Love,
    A Dedicated Teacher’s Wife in Colorado

  21. Chris

    Thank you, Bo, for your sweet words of support and encouragement. I am a first grade teacher in Virginia and I would do anything for any child in my classroom. They are like my own children and love them as if they are. I pray my students and I never have to experience what so many other teachers and children have with intruders, gunman, weather events, etc. With that said, I would, though, do anything I could to protect, shelter and care for “my kids”!

  22. Winnie

    Dear Bo,
    Thank you so much for your kind words. As a first grade teacher in an economically challenged part
    of Philadelphia, PA I was moved. Not to mention to see that someone out there appreciates teachers. I have been teaching for seventeen years. It is nice to hear a thank-you every once in awhile.
    I consider every student I have ever had one of my own kids. I would do want any parent would
    do to protect a student. Thanks again, and I plan on sharing this with my family and friends.

  23. Lisa Mayhew

    Thank you Bo, it’s always nice to hear appreciation! I love my kids and do this job in spite of the lousy pay and no respect! From a middle school teacher in North Carolina, thanks again. Passing this forward!

  24. Jill from Bonnie Scotland

    Not only have your words spread from East to West USA and Canada. I am about to pass the link to my teacher friends here in Bonnie Scotland. I am about to retire after 38 years. I have often told children that my most important job is keeping them safe. Thank you, Bo for your heartfelt words. Teachers the world over will appreciate them.

  25. Beth

    Thank you! After 29 years of teaching, I’ve personally taught over 2000 children, most of them 5th graders. I have former students who are now in their 30s and soon to be students in Kinder who I keep up with. They still come back to see me, call me, substitute for me (!), and bring me their children. It always surprises me at some of the ones who come back. Sure, its always the ‘pick of the litter’, but sometimes…I’m stunned to find out what I meant to some of them way back then. It is a very humbling experience when the one that you thought couldn’t wait to get away comes back.

  26. Gill Robertson

    Hi
    I am a teacher and a parent in Auckland, New Zealand, a long way from your part of the world and I just wanted to say that as a teacher I would always be there for the children in my school because I know that my daughters teacher would do exactly the same. Thanks for your words they mean a lot.

    • Ruth

      Just to let you know that your words touched me as well. Way way up here in northern Ontario. Thank you so much for your comments.

  27. Thank you so much for saying the few words that “we” wish more parents would acknowledge as to the undying level of our dedication that we continue to have for our beaten down profession. This kind of shared thinking might keep many teachers from quitting this career path if we could have the true backing of parents, families and communities. Public education is in the crosshairs of large companies ready to take over to replace neighborhood schools with qualified and dedicated teachers. God help us all!

    • Barbara

      I am a retired 1st grade teacher in Washington state who was in tears as I read your heartfelt words, Bo. There is nothing better than a THANK YOU from a parent, unless it’s a huge hug from a former first grader whose child is graduating with honors and scholarships from the same school.
      Thank you, Bo.

  28. Stephanie

    Bo – it’s 10:30 on a Friday night, and I’m grading and texting one of my students who is waiting for me to send her semester exam password to her – I’m checking to make sure all her assignments are done and I’ve graded them correctly, given her feedback, and that she is ready for the exam. I’ve never laid eyes on her, and yet, she’s my “kid” – she’s smart and funny, and I could hang around on the phone with her all day talking history and anything else… I would gladly shield her from harm. I’m a virtual high school teacher, and it’s just the same for us. We love our kids. Your kids. Thanks for noticing.

  29. Colleen Reilly

    This teacher of 7th graders in Wisconsin also appreciates your words. Most teachers are parents, too. We know how precious each young one is. We love ’em for you when you’re not around.

  30. Tiffany

    I am a kinder teacher in Phoenix and my husband is also a teacher. I read this and it brought tears to my eyes. I am here for my kids everyday no matter what. They are my kids and my own boys know that we just have an extended family. 🙂 In the past seven months, there have been several instances where teachers proved that they are there for their kids even if they are facing death or injury themselves. A simple “thank you” or “nice job” can take me a whole year….I am going to print this and put it on my wall in my classroom…just as a reminder that there are people out there who “get it”. Thank you for writing something so beautiful and encouraging. It truly does mean a lot to me.

    • Thank you for the incredibly kind words, Tiffany. It would be an honor if you printed this and put it on your classroom wall. I could not think of a better tribute. It’s awesome that you care so much for your students. They are lucky to have you.

      • Tiffany

        🙂 it is going to be the first thing that I hang up for the new school year. I’m so glad that you wrote this and you encouraged all of these teachers and parents across the world. You may have just reminded a teacher why they teach or that they are appreciated or that they can
        Make it one more year! Maybe more people and parents will see that we teachers are on their side and that we are dedicated to our kids. Thank you, thank you again….it should be obvious how meaningful a few kind words can be…look at how many shares and posts here have been! Thank you for standing up and saying this! Stay safe and know that right now, our hearts are with OK!

      • Tiffany, it had 45K shares on Facebook last week, I thought it had run its course. Tonight was a pleasant surprise. Especially on a night where we’re dodging Oklahoma tornadoes yet again.

      • Tiffany

        I didn’t see it until today on the, You can’t scare me I’m a teacher FB. And those 45,000 shares don’t account for how many people who have read it!! I shared it and I tagged all of my teacher friends. Even if they don’t share it, it has touched them! Just known that you have made a difference! It will probably continue for a while! Thanks again and keep your family safe! They just had the news on and I’m worried about everyone who is in OK right now!

  31. Thanks Bo… from a teacher in Sydney, Australia who is feeling unappreciated and disregarded and considering my options… thanks for your post. 🙂

  32. Monstersmum

    Your words have reached Canada and are so moving. As has been said before, as a teacher, my students are my kids. I worry about them, care about them and want the best for them. I am so proud of them and watching them turn into young adults. I have a “file” of everything I’ve ever been given by my students (drawings, school photos, team photos, even a Shakespearean insult letter). Those mean way more to me than anything else at work. I’m going to guess that many of your teachers, Bo, are still around. Maybe look them up and send them a copy of this. I’m sure they’d love it. Thank you again for touching so many with your words.

    • When I originally posted this on Facebook last week, it got 45,000+ shares. One of the shares was my 5th grade teacher, who I hadn’t seen or heard from since 1983. She not only had shared it, but she shared it by saying, “From one of my school kids”…..After not hearing from me in 30 years, she still remembered me. Now we ARE facebook friends. And thank you so much for your kind words.

  33. Kathryn

    As a teacher, I have to say thank you. This is what we do, and we do it because we love your kids who quickly become “our” kids no matter what.

  34. Thank you EVERYONE for the kind words. I really, truly wrote this to bless the 10-20 teachers that I know in my life, and I’m blown away that it has reached so far and wide. Thank you all for taking time to share your thoughts.

    • Your words of kindness come at a time when many of us are being blamed for the downfall of our society and the economical collapse. Thank you for telling the rest of the world what we really do. Just like your 5th grade teacher ~ once a student has been in my class ~ they are forever one of my “kids”

  35. M C

    Thank you for your beautiful heartfelt words. Your post really made me feel special that I chose to be a teacher. Any student who has been in my class, even for a short while, is a special person in my heart. Thank you again from Southeast Texas.

  36. Hi, I’m a teacher in Clogherhead, Ireland. I’m spending this Sunday at a presentation of talent in my school and missing a Sunday with my own children in the process. We love our jobs, we work so hard, but all anyone ever mentions is the long holidays we get! Thanks for your recognition. Julieanne Hand

  37. JD

    Hi! I’m a Secondary School History teacher in England and this has gone down really well with my cohort, who are feeling rather under-appreciated and angry at the moment. I’m glad someone appreciates what we do and why we do it; we love the kids we teach and put our heart and soul into the profession.

  38. I wanted to be a teacher, like my grandmother, but that ambition was frustrated by my father’s army moves and later by a selfish, controlling husband. My cousin, elder brother and daughter achieved that position and I hope they all felt appreciated by both parents and kids sometimes. I now teach French and Spanish to other seniors through U3A (University of the 3rd Age) in Scarborough North Yorkshire, UK and take classes in Philosophy and Exercise (previously also in Creative Writing). Well done to all teachers all over the world who dedicate themselves to their students, sometimes having to put their own families second. Yesterday I saw a fantastic ‘Costume Design and Execution Show by Yorkshire Coast College students who may have the opportunity to work on films, stage or TV shows in the future and boy! do they deserve it!!

  39. Connie

    Thank You, Bo! This special ed teacher of 18 years thanks you for these kind words. When your children enter my classroom, they are mine too!

    • Margi

      From this teacher in Australia, thank you so much for your kind words. If we had more people in the world who realised this, we might have more teachers who feel appreciated. Many of us will keep on doing what we love – teaching and protecting the children as best we can, but it’s great to know you actually care enough to put it into words. I’ll be sharing with all of my teacher friends for sure.

  40. Kathleen

    Thank you Bo. You made this 35 year veteran Michigan teacher tear up. I love my kindergarten kids. Your kids are my kids.

  41. Donna

    Thank you for your kind words. With the craziness and budget cuts that are happening these words make a teacher feel like a million bucks!

  42. Amy

    From an Art teacher in FL, THANK YOU!!! As a “special area teacher” I have the privilege of having my students, who I call “my kids” for 6 years rather than just one. I get to see them grow from shy Kindergarteners to confident 5th graders. I worry about them, pray for them, and often wonder, “what are they doing now”. Though, thankfully, I have never had to to shield them from a gunman or a horrific act of nature, I would, without question!!! They are “my kids”! Your words moved me to “happy tears”. Please know that many people are praying for everyone OK.

  43. Heather

    From a teacher at a very small school in NSW, Australia, (only 8 children) I would defend these kids with my life! They just made me so proud at the Athletics Carnival the other day. It is so true what all the teachers have said, it’s nice to get a thank you, just once in a while, for all the things that we do, and all the time that we miss with our own families. (I went to the athletics carnival on my day off to be with my ‘kids’ and cheer them on.) And I agree once my ‘kid’, always my ‘kid’! Thanks again, and my thoughts and prayers are with all the people in OK at this devastating time.

  44. Anne

    Thank you for your kind words. As teachers, we do feel that times have changed, and society always say everything’s the teacher’s fault. It is a very demanding, and ever growing job (in paperwork, individualizing, new roles, and new demands). But, we do it because we love the children! Thank you for appreciating us when we do not receive appreciation much anymore. It was nice to read. 🙂

  45. Anne

    Oh, and, it is without question that I and probably most (if not all) teachers would protect your children from harms way, whether from a weapon or natural disaster. No doubts. Your kids are our kids. It is a blessing. Thank you for the privilege.

      • Your kind words are much appreciated. Perhaps you might send this letter to the politicians who are the authors of the current vilification of both teachers and our profession.

  46. Felicity

    Our mayor in Minneapolis, R.T. Rybak, and our superintendent, Bernadia Johnson, along with most of our school board and an array of Ed reform groups disguised as well intentioned philanthropy groups,move their privatizing public education mission forward by regularly, and publically bashing teachers. It’s nice to read something positive about what teachers commit their lives to doing. It’s sad that it takes such tragic and dramatic situations to bring the focus back to reality. Thanks for writing this. I’m sorry you had to go through that storm. Wishing you well!

  47. Candi Appl

    From a veteran teacher of 26 years, I appreciate your words. I teach K-8 technology, so I have a wide diversity of age groups. I also live in a smaller community. This year; however, was the first year our district practice a drill of intruder in building with weapon. I had first graders in my lab at the time. Hiding those little ones under the desks out of site was extremely emotional for me. I only can imagine what their little brains were thinking as they crunch under the lab desks and remained totally silent for over five minutes. I have prayed many times that this would never occur, and the practice was about enough to do me in. I cannot imagine going through the real thing as many schools have had to do. Bless you for your article. Teaching has become much more than people can ever imagine as far as a “job”.

  48. Thank you, Bo. I am a second grade teacher and I spend every one of the 186 days I teach each year, loving the students in my class and of course they love me back. Second grade teachers don’t usually get mentioned in acceptance speeches or invited to graduations or weddings; our students are only 7, after all. But my hope always is, that though they may not remember my name or face 30 years later, they will remember they way I made them feel for the 186 days; that the love and pride I felt for them for those 186 days will be imprinted on their hearts and that they will continue, throughout their lives, to pass those feeling on.

  49. As a 1st grade teacher from NJ, I just want to say Thank You for your kind words…Now if only the political people thought the same way, maybe our job would but just a little bit easier! : )

  50. Sabrina Sweeney

    I teach in NC, and we have been feeling discouraged lately because of budgets and testing and all that mess. Thank you for bringing a tear to my eye and making what I do feel appreciated. I intend to share this with my fellow staff.

  51. Mary Amabile Palmer

    I have always admired and respected teachers, even when I was a student. I have always been ashamed at how little we pay our teachers as compared to baseball players, for example. It’s ok to pay them those high figures, but how about increasing the amounts we pay our teachers. I once knew a terrific man who loved teaching math. He was married with 4 children. He couldn’t support them on his teacher’s salary. So he went to work for GE, made lots more money and did a great job for them. We the people lost out on a great teacher. Sad to say nothing has changed!

    Mary Amabile Palmer

  52. I’m real curious how everyone in the United Kingdom and beyond heard about this post? I’m so glad you did. Thanks everyone. I’m glad my words could help a little bit.

  53. Melissa

    Well said and much appreciated. I am a HS science teacher from Texas and I just completed my first year. I hope more people realize the same epiphany you just had. We don’t do what we do for the money that’s for sure. And I know we all pray we never have to face what some teachers faced this past school year (gunmen, tornados) but I love all of my students and they’re my “kiddos” so I know I’d jump in front of them to save any one of them. Thanks!

  54. Ray

    Thank you. As a teacher, for 35 years, I appreciate your words. I love my students and have always tried to be there for them. I hope and pray, that I can continue doing so, until I retire.

  55. Roxy

    Thank you, Bo – Your words touched me, also. I have been a teacher all of my life and was speaking with a long time colleague of mine about the misconceptions that the public has about teachers here in the US. Most of us cannot afford the skyrocketing cost of living, much less the luxuries we are purported to enjoy. We make too much for our children to qualify for financial aid, but too little to be able to afford to send them AND continue to pay the mortgages. One of mine served the military for 5 years with two deployments and a stoploss to pay for college and still owes $200,000 in student loans. Upon her return, she received little treatment for her PTSD.
    We spend most of our waking moments designing, planning, preparing our craft. If you do not believe me, ask the child of ANY educator. The hours spent in the classroom are but a small percentage of the hours we devote to our students. We sacrifice this time willingly because it improves our teaching.
    I haven’t even mentioned the amount of money that we take from our our pockets to supplement and enhance instruction.
    But, above all of this, do not get me wrong. We don’t teach for the glory, we teach because we must. As an artist must create, an athlete must compete, a musician must perform, we thrive on the morphine-like euphoria that we derive from eye contact that tells us when they grasp a concept, realizing that blue and yellow make green, or that the hypotenuse is the square root of the sum of the square of the sides.
    We do not glean our feelings of satisfaction from our level of pay, or the amount of esteem bestowed on us by the public, or even the parents. We get it from our students. That can never be taken from us. It is is authentic and it is what matters.

  56. As the wife of a hard working teacher, I would like to thank you for your thoughtful words of encouragemnet. It has been very demoralizing to watch public education taken down by the very folks who should be embracing this gift. We both hope that folks will realize this before it is too late. Thanks again.

  57. Julie Meadows

    On June 6th, I will be retiring after 33 years of teaching middle school science. This post touched my heart. I love my kids and I will miss the daily contact, but I have enough incredible memories for a lifetime. Thank you.

  58. Ray Jillard

    Bo,
    Thank you for your kind words to all of the teacher that were in your life, the lives of your children and ultimately children all over the world. Many of us feel like it is a tough job, but it’s one we have CHOSEN to do because of the right reasons not just because we needed a paycheck. I had a particularly rough school year. This post of yours coupled with a compliment that I received yesterday from the parent of a former student sort of healed the wound that I had inflicted on myself Thanks again for your thoughts and gratitude from all of us teachers.

  59. M.L.

    I’m from Michigan (USA), now teaching in Poland. What a wonderful tribute this is to all those caring teachers who inspired me by their example, to love learning.

  60. SusieUKHK

    Hi Bo, Thank you for your kind words of appreciation towards teachers. Like everyone else here, your words really touched me. I teach kindi in Hong Kong. We often get overlooked or accused of playing all day rather than teaching but if only they see what I see when I have taught my babies something new for the first time. The first experiences of child’s life is important and the most precious and people often forget that. Some days people really annoy me when they don’t see us as teachers, but then we come across people like you with words of appreciation and understanding. So i thank you from the bottom of my heart for understanding what a good job all teachers do, and recognising their importance to a child’s life when they are in our care.

  61. Tracie P.

    Thank you from a veteran teacher of 20 years in Tennessee. None of the parents or administrators understand how meaningful the appreciation of our job can be. Like most of my colleagues, I have felt bashed and unworthy over the past few years due to an overrated assessment system, but I still love teaching “my kids” and will love all of them (even the rowdy ones) until I die. My hope is that teaching becomes a real profession as it is in other countries, with respect and honor given instead of disdain.

  62. LAURA

    Thank you for your very kind words. I too was moved to tears. I am entering my 29th year in Pasco County Florida and I still LOVE what I do. Nationally, teachers have had some bad press, so thank you for looking past the nonsense and finding truth 🙂

  63. MrsK

    19 years in Michigan and tears in my eyes, too, thank you! I pray there is never a situation in my school where I have to stand between my kids and lief-threatening danger. I have comfort in the knowledge that EVERY SINGLE ONE of the teachers and staff would stand there without hesitation.

  64. Carol

    Very nice! Just retired and can tell you that teachers teach because they love kids…not everyone has the patience, tolerance, and dedication ….so appreciation…is the best gift!

  65. Dianne Holmes

    OMG! thank you (38 years teaching…just retired) We’re so badgered by state legistators (who are not and have never been a teacher in 97% of the cases) it was wonderful to read something from someone who DOES appreciate what we do…its the most amazing think to watch a young person come into your classroom on day 1, grow and become so incredible in mind, body, and spirit by the 180th day. Teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs on the planet (if you truly love kids and have a passion for your subject area…magic happens) Thank you

  66. Brenda

    As a retired teacher, I would like to thank you for your eloquent words. You noticed us, and respected us in the best words in the world.

  67. Tracey Killian

    Hi Bo, I am a teacher of some gorgeous prepartory students in Australia. Your words have been truly heartfelt. I love my job and would never wish to do anything else. Kids have a fantastic and refreshing outlook on life and they keep me sane (even though parents tell me that is not possible). Whenever life is getting too much or the paperwork and political expectations are beyond realistic I get back on the floor and work with my kids and their beautiful personalities and loving natures give me back my perspective. My husband (41yrs) had a massive heart attack last year and is not very well. I had some time off school initially as our closest hospital was 5 hours away. But once he was able to be home on his own I was thrilled to get back to my kids as their love and caring did more for me than any medical professional could. I actually feel that anyone who hasn’t been blessed enough to work with children has missed a great opportunity. Anyway I hope this message reaches you all the way over there. And I am sending you lots of hugs and best wishes and hope some kids in your life are looking out for you too.
    Tracey Killian

  68. As an educator for the last 35 years, thank you so much for the heartfelt words. We begin our school year next week and I will take this message with me to share with other teachers. I recently cringed when a friend of mine that teaches in another state told me that one of their inservice training days was to be spent in Active Shooter Training……Such is the new life of an educator.

  69. Kara

    Bo,

    I am a high school English teacher in Kansas, and I wanted to thank you for these words. I am always (every year) asked if I have children, and my response is invariably something along the lines of: “I have 110+ of them. Who would you like to talk about?” My students are my kids, my babies, and my reasons for “work.” (I say that don’t go to work; I go to school every day.) I truly love what I do, and I would gladly do everything you outlined in this piece–in fact, I do a lot of them daily. I wish there were more parents like you. Well done, Bo. A+ 😉

  70. Katherine

    I just wanted to say Thank you! It’s wonderful to know that I am appreciated, and I think every teacher that has responded to this blog, agrees that we teach because it is what we love and we love our kids and will do everything in our power to protect them!

  71. Wow! Well, I hope everyone who responded will read this. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad this little blog has made so many people happy. Over 40,000 people have read it, hopefully, most of them are teachers that needed to hear it. Thanks for reading. Do share on facebook and/or twitter, and come back and see me some time.

    Bo

    • Greg

      The teachers are not the ones that need to hear it. Our lawmakers and government who daily makes my job harder and harder. I get paid less and less. I now have 22 students that are all behavioral or have special needs in one if my classes. If I can not show growth I’m a bad teacher… I don’t need to hear these words. I know the work I put in but my governer here in New Mexico sure needs to hear it.

  72. udreamofjeanie

    I have been in touch with my Jr High School teacher since I was 12. She us 87 & i’m 60. I have always let my teachers know how special they were in my life!
    Still searching for Mrs. Scarano from StAten island because she taught me love of the performing arts & all my jobs have been in the performing arts!
    Never underestimate them. My mother died when I was young & they were my role models!

  73. Janet Nordfors

    Bo, I am two days away from starting my 15th year of teaching. Your post made me smile and gave me the “warm fuzzies” way deep down in my heart. I never sleep the last few days of summer because the sheer excitement of meeting 20 new friends and wanting them to love school just keeps my mind buzzing. There has been a lot of “blame” placed on teachers lately and it can be discouraging, but the sweet drawings and notes, and hugs we get from “our” kids makes it all worth while. I keep a file of those endearments, for those tough days when I think I can’t go on. I will be adding your blog post to my file. Thanks for remembering us.
    Janet in Maine

  74. tchn4ever

    As a “seasoned” teacher here in northern Michigan, I say thank you for your vote of confidence. It is much needed for every teacher in our state. Over the past several years, educators in public schools have been mugged and robbed by the politicians of our state. Some believe fervently in the “business of education”, when it can never be a business. Can we say that raising children is truly a “business”? Over the course of my career, I have been proud of my accomplishments and efforts with students in my classes. Never have I ever regarded them as a business. As regards staying strong in the face of threat and dangerous situation, I will share with you what I have shared with many classes each fall. “If there is a fire, I will do whatever it takes to put you in a safe area to protect you. If a tornado, I will throw myself upon you to protect you from falling or flying debris. If a crazy person intrudes our building or classroom, I will place myself in front of you and take the bullet. That is my job and your parents’ number one concern: your safety. However, there is one situation in which I know I can not do my job…..If a mouse should run in this classroom, I am out of here and you are on your own. All you will see is the back of me getting as far and as fast away from this room as possible. You, my dear and beloved students, are then on your own. I do NOT do mice.”

  75. FirstYearTeach

    Wow. As a new teacher in a not-so-wonderful new charter school in LA, I thank you for posting this. My 20 first grade babies, and they’re love for me, gets me up in the morning and is the reason I deal with terrible administration and angry uneducated parents. I wish they would all take the time to think about why I haven’t been one of the 10 teachers that have already quit this year…and it’s not for them…it’s because the only dose of consistency and normalcy my kids get is with me before they go home to violence and goodness knows what else…because my kids tell me they love me more than their mama’s after I reprimand them for making bad choices…because I’m the first teacher these kids have had that actually cares about seeing them succeed…and because I am the only white person they know and have ever met so I definitly can’t break that bond 😉 You have brought me to tears over your honest and oh so moving words, and have inspired me to keep on chuggin’ because they are more than worth it to me!

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