Teacher Appreciation Week? Again, huh?


-Karl-Heinz Gabbey

Teacher Appreciation Week? Again, huh? It brings back memories. It was the unenviable task of one our assistant principals to deliver goodies to our “division” (two departments combined into one) each day of this wonderful week once a year when we were basking in the sunshine of “teacher appreciation.”

On one of the days, she had to deliver a big box of donuts. For reasons we could never understand, she seemed intimidated by the faculty of our division. Several of us sat in our work room to put the finishing touches on our lessons before the school day began. She literally ran into the room, stopped short of the table, and tossed the box of donuts onto the table top. It bounced like a rubber ball in front of us. We were startled by the bouncing box and and her lightning flash exit from the work room. Fortunately, the box remained on the table and the donuts didn’t fly all over creation. I don’t recall whether or not she wished us a great day of teaching. It happened so fast that we had no chance to blink. We talked about the “donut box toss” for a number of years when Teacher Appreciation Week finally arrived again. “Do you remember when…?”

The retelling of the event always produced its chuckles and laughs. The deeper significance was how quickly teacher appreciation week came and went. The hasty “flash” with which she exited from the room became a metaphor for the “length of time” we really felt appreciated.

Attacks on tenure, attacks on our pensions, attacks by politicians, attacks by wealthy corporate types, attacks by right-wing religious fanatics, attacks by so-called “education reformers,” attacks by the former secretary of education, attacks, attacks, attacks… Then comes “Teacher Appreciation Week… What are we to make of it?

4 Replies to “Teacher Appreciation Week? Again, huh?”

  1. My favorite memory was when we received a lifesaver candy scotch-taped to a little slip of paper that read, “Thanks for your contributions to school improve-mint.” I threw it away.

  2. Oh c’mon; enough with the easy cynicism! They truly appreciate the compliant, reticent, subservient teachers! The rest get donuts thrown at them.

  3. If they have to have a week to appreciate us, it is clear that the rest of the year we are not appreciated.

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