Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Teachers - My Cup Runneth Over Because of You.

By Erika Sanzi, BVP teacher and parent

I didn’t have plans to write anything about Teacher Appreciation Week -- between the crazy life of motherhood, teaching at BVP middle school, and four little league teams, sitting down to write was not even on my radar.

And then, it just hit me. Some time in the early hours of Monday morning, while I was brewing coffee and signing reading logs, I became aware that it was the start of Teacher Appreciation week. Within seconds, my mind was like a runaway train of gratitude about teachers.  As someone who taught at her alma mater for four years, my former teachers became my mentors and confidants. As life took me from affluent public schools in MA to a public and parochial school in CA, to high poverty schools, teachers became not only my teammates, but also my dearest of friends. But the reality is that none of that prepared me for how my gratitude would exponentially grow when I became the mother of children who attend BVP.

One of the first images that came to mind was of a teacher who, when not making my son and his classmates experts in fair trade chocolate and the U.S. judicial system, is coaching scholars on winning chess strategies. 

Before I knew it, images were flashing before me like a slideshow:

  • My son’s teacher on the sidelines of his flag football game.
  • The Head of School playing football outside with the first graders during recess.

  • Photos of exciting reading growth charts for my 1st grader popping up on my phone in the middle of the day.
  • My husband dropping them off every morning (including in the freezing winter) to the smiles and handshakes of teachers and staff who are waiting outside for them to arrive.
  • A team of teachers figuring out how to entertain 75 1st graders on a Friday afternoon when “trash man’ cancelled with about 10 mins notice. What did they do? They danced with the kids!

  • Heartwarming acknowledgements of scholars’ growth in PRIDE values during breakfast with parents.
  • Scholars sitting in a circle outside playing violin while the sun shines on their faces.

  • Rooms overflowing with teachers, staff, and families as we fight for our school to stay open, to have facilities, or to expand.

Who do I thank for making my kids so excited to tell me about their days and what they learned the moment they hop in the car, arguing over whose awesome thing I’ll hear first?

Who do I thank for helping them to understand the importance of character and community?

Who do I thank for motivating me to be a better teacher because of what I see happening in classrooms all around me, including those of my own children?

I thank teachers. Your joy, energy, dedication, intelligence, creativity, positivity, warmth, humor, and high expectations are making a difference in the lives of my children and all of BVP’s children every day. On those rough days when you wonder if anyone even notices what you do, take solace in the following: You are the rock stars putting every child on the path to college and on the path to becoming their best selves. You make a difference. 

I thank you for that.

1 comment:

  1. Awe...Erika...very well said! I'm glad your are one of those teachers you just shouted out.