Teacher Appreciation Week begins

Published 10:10 am Tuesday, May 3, 2016

In the face of harsher criticism, stricter standards and more troubled students, teachers continue tirelessly to instruct the community’s children. In recognition of their work, today is National Teacher Day, and this is Teacher Appreciation Week.

Each school observes teacher appreciation differently. At Enterprise Attendance Center, the PTO provides teachers with refreshments at the end of testing.

“Traditionally our PTO and student counsel have done things for teacher appreciation,” Enterprise Principal Shannon Eubanks said. “It’s kind of a week behind, but we have so much going on this week. We’ve been testing since the middle of April and we’re still testing.”

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Eubanks said as a reward after the stress of state testing, parent and student organizations provide refreshments to teachers.

The PTA at Lipsey School does something for teachers every day, including a Jumping Java Coffee Bar every morning.

“They are wonderful,” Lipsey Principal Sonya Foster said. “They go over and beyond for the teachers. They make them feel really special this week.”

Be it from budget woes, evolving standards or attacks on social media, teachers in Mississippi have had it particularly rough in recent years.

“When we’ve gone from Common Core to College and Career Readiness Standards — for three years we’ve had a different state test,” Foster said. “Those are a challenge. It’s kind of getting a consistency while the nation as a whole is changing education. They’ve met the challenge, but it’s taken an extra ounce.”

Eubanks said students are also getting more challenging.

“You’ve got more students from a broken home situation, more students from poverty, and more students with recognized disabilities,” Eubanks said. “Years ago those kids might not have even been going to school. It’s great that they are. But the pressure on teachers was nowhere near where it is today. Now they’re talking about accreditation standards, school rankings and teachers’ pay down the road based on these test scores.”

Even for those not a member of the schools’ PTA or PTO, Eubanks and Foster agree that a kind word to a teacher goes a long way.

“If a parent or student would text, or call or Facebook, or whatever they use to communicate,” Eubanks said. “Just tell the teacher we thank you and appreciate your job. We know it’s not the easiest in the world, but thank you for teaching our children. Thank you for loving our children. Thank you for being there for our children.

“If a parent, grandparent or person of the community wants to show their appreciation for their teachers, take the time to send a quick little card or text or whatever, I promise you it’s going to mean all the world to the teachers.”