Last week was "Teacher Appreciation Week," an opportunity for students and parents to express their gratitude to teachers for the important work they do. Joe Gawronski, principal of Polaris Expeditionary Learning School, Fort Collins, had his own letter of appreciation for his teachers. Because of the importance of his remarks, I asked permission to reprint them here, as a kind of guest blog. Joe has kindly agreed to be a guest blogger. His letter read in part:
"I'd also like to express my gratitude towards the teachers as well. Some might think that our staff teaches language arts, math, science, social studies, music and PE, but this is inaccurate, our staff teaches children. They teach children for seven hours a day, one hundred eighty days a year, for a total of approximately 1260 hours per year every year. And yes, they impart the knowledge and information within the content areas listed above, but more importantly they teach about fairness, perseverance, cooperation, problem-solving, and communication on an on-going basis throughout the year.
"So thanks again for expressing your appreciation during National Teacher Appreciation Week. It's especially comforting to know that our teachers have your support, as evidenced though various survey results and yesterday's generosity, in time when it seems that teachers on a national level are being scrutinized more than ever. Together, as a school community, our support for one another creates an optimistic future, for I see it in your children's eyes on a consistent basis.
And if you multiply a teacher's hours per year by the average number of students (say 20, conservatively), you end up with 25,200 contact hours per year. That's a lot of teaching and a lot of learning, especially about all of those non-content areas Joe mentions. I can't thnk of any job that has greater impact on the lives of so many people.