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Have You Thanked a Teacher Today?

Teachers know that one of the great rewards of the profession is receiving a sincere gesture of gratitude for the work we do. Such gestures are especially appropriate this week, as it’s Teacher Appreciation Week—a time when communities are encouraged to thank teachers for their intellectual and emotional contributions to students’ lives.

The National PTA has a digital toolkit that allows users to publish words, pictures, and videos of thanks to an influential educator. The National Education Association has a great graphic on “Why Teachers Deserve Our Praise and Support.”

These initiatives, and many others that are out there, serve the dual purpose of saying thanks while also raising the visibility of the importance of the profession. We hope you will reach out to thank an important teacher in your life.

But I also hope you’ll take some time this week to thank teachers you may not immediately think of during Teacher Appreciation Week: your colleagues.

Maybe it’s a grade-level partner who has helped you perfect the art of co-teaching. Or a team member who has worked with you on infusing literacy strategies in a content area classroom. Or a department colleague who’s always sharing new and fresh approaches to a shared course curriculum. For me, it would be the school library media specialist who taught me more than I can list.

Even in the best collaborative relationships, it can be difficult to find the time to express proper thanks. So set aside a few minutes this week to thank a colleague for the difference he or she makes in your professional life. Often it’s our network of colleagues—down the hall or across the country, in our buildings and in professional organizations such as NCTE—who support and sustain us.

Let them all know that you value the work they do with you and the influence they have on you! And I will end this post by thanking YOU!