Teacher Appreciation Week salutes educators

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The National Education Association and National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) have declared Tuesday, May 9, National Teachers Day and the week from May 7 through May 13, Teacher Appreciation Week.

Since 1984, there has been an official recognition of the work teachers do and this year’s theme is “Teachers Deliver.”

In a joint open letter to their organizations, National PTA President Laura Bay and NEA President Lily Eskelsen-Garcia encouraged interested citizens to contact educators in their community and share their appreciation for the work teachers do on a daily basis.

Florence Community PTA President Tiffany Holdahl echoes these sentiments, “Teachers are the foundation that our schools are built on, and in celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week we’d like to shower them with tangible thank you notes.”

One of the main points that the national organizations and the local PTA have in common is the belief that a great teacher can change a student in ways that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

“Everyone had a favorite teacher growing up. Teachers leave lasting impressions on their students. FCPTA thought it would be great if our community let Siuslaw teachers and staff know that what they do matters and that they have left a lasting impression on our community,” Holdahl said.

In their declaration recognizing teachers and their importance to the American culture, Bay and Garcia said the following.

“Teachers give us so much. A boost of confidence when we really need one, extra helps when we are having trouble, and a welcoming presence when everything else seems out of control. And though we can’t ever say ‘thank you’ enough, we can take a moment to share our appreciation for the special educators in our lives.”

Holdahl wants everyone that has been positively impacted by a great teacher, either personally or through a family member, to reach out to local teachers with an expression of their appreciation.

“Whether you are a student, parent, alum or simply someone who recognizes the value of our local educators and all that they do for our community, we hope to see a note from you.”

To this end there will be drop off boxes at all district schools for community members to share their letters to, or pictures of favorite educators, with teachers and school administrators.

There are also a number of smaller, more tangible tokens of appreciation that teachers can expect to receive during the week of recognition.

And while Holdahl wants to keep some of those gifts secret, she did share details of the PTA’s plan.

“Each day teachers and staff will find fun surprises in the staff lounges, I’d let you in on them, but I don’t want to give away the surprise. I will say there will be food, some fun and hopefully Siuslaw teachers and staff will feel encouraged and appreciated,” Holdhal said.

“We plan to treat the staff at all three schools to lunch and a local restaurant, Homegrown, will be catering. They have been so generous in donating food for the teachers.”

There will also be raffles at all the district schools, the building where buses are stored and at the district office.

Holdahl also thanked businesses in the community for their donations to teacher appreciation efforts.

“The Florence business community is so generous and many local businesses have donated gift certificates or baskets to give away to our teachers and staff members,” she said.

Siuslaw School District Superintendent Andy Grezskowiak is perhaps best placed to see on a day-to-day basis the important work that teachers do in Florence schools, and his appreciation of their work was apparent in this statement regarding the week.

“Teachers provide more than just facts and figures to students. Our teachers work on a myriad of ‘soft skills’ that go beyond course content: critical thinking and analysis skills, social skills and interpersonal relations, while being an encouraging hand as students look to make their mark in a bigger world,” Grezeskowiak said.

“Teachers help to open up the world to students and may inspire them to do more than they believe that could ever have done.”

For more information on Teacher Appreciation Week contact FAPTA at florencecom [email protected]

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