About Lori H Rice

Lori Rice is a fourth-grade teacher at West Elementary in Wamego, Kansas, who has taught K-2 reading as well as kindergarten, first grade and fourth grade since 1996. She has a passion for creativity, learning, questioning and the whole child. Her classroom is a place of acceptance and celebrating differences.

A valuable is something of great worth.  Each day you send your most valuable possession off to school.  You entrust them to the educational system and the teachers there.  Teaching is a unique profession.  Teachers give of themselves, their time, and their money to do what is best for your child.  This act is often selfless.  Great teachers often do this with no regards to the costs.  They often spend their own family time grading papers or planning lessons. They spend their lunch hours making phone calls or preparing for lessons.  They will put your child before all else.  Teachers understand how valuable your child is.

The National Education Association describes National Teacher Day as “a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives”.  The origins of the day are unclear.  According to Wikipedia Wisconsin teacher Ryan Krug began discussing the need to honor teacher with political and educational leaders in 1944.  In 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt talked with Congress about the need to proclaim a National Teacher Day.  NEA and state affiliates lobbied Congress to create a national day as well.  Finally, March 7, 1980 was declared National Teacher Day.  This honor, however, was for that year only.  NEA continued the tradition until March 1985 when the National PTA established Teacher Appreciate Week as the first full week of May.

The end of the school year is a perfect time to reflect.  Think about the literature your child has read and been exposed to, projects completed, learning experiences they have had, field trips,  the growth you have seen, the friendships they have continued or begun, and the hand each teacher has had in making all of this happen.  Here is a list of things you can do to thank your child’s teachers.

Read to and play with your child—parental involvement allows children to feel safe and loved.  These basic needs must be met for learning to take place.  Reading with your child and playing with them at home create a safe space and your child will come to school with these basic needs fulfilled.

Ask about your child’s day—listening and speaking skills are modeled, taught and practiced in the classroom.  Continue questioning at home and inquire about your child’s day.  Knowing someone at home is going to ask about the day’s events brings meaning to your student’s day.  This allows them to go about their day with purpose.

Attend school conferences, events, PTO or PTA meetings—being connected to school shows your child you value how they spend their day.  This also shows them what they do is important and gives them purpose in their work.

Extend and value learning at home—helping with homework, listening to your child read, reading newsletters and blogs from school will give you things to do with your child.  If your child sees you find value and fun in learning they will have an increased value and love of learning.   This will transfer into the classroom increasing their engagement in school.

Simply Say Thank You—we have lost the art of the thank you note, but it is always important to say thank you.  Have your child create a card, write a letter, or just give a shout out.  If you would like more ideas check out the NEA website.

Value is the importance or preciousness of something.  Everyone likes to feel valued.  I would encourage you to think about those in education who have touched your child’s life this year and take a moment to show how much you value their time, their knowledge, and their talent.  Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6-10, 2013.   In this article find one thing to start with  or find  a simple, creative way to let an educator know how much they mean to you.

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