More Than Appreciation — We Need Respect, Autonomy, Resources

MSEA President Cheryl Bost on Teacher Appreciation Week

MSEA President Cheryl Bost at the March for Our Schools on March 11, 2019. Photo © Stephen Cherry

I want to let you in on a secret — I have an issue with Teacher Appreciation Week.

It’s not about all the thanks you’ll get, which are incredibly well deserved. The work we do to help our students — inspiring their creativity, giving them a safe place to learn and be themselves, and empowering them to achieve their dreams — makes this the most rewarding and challenging profession there is. You deserve all the appreciation in the world for being an educator, no question.

So here’s my issue.

First, we all know that while teachers are incredibly important, schools couldn’t operate if teachers were the only staff in the building. Thank you to all the support staff, specialists, and administrators who are all part of a successful school community.

Second, and most importantly, while having a week to be appreciated is great, it’s not enough. Appreciation, respect, autonomy, trusting us as professionals — that’s needed year-round.

I love all the discounts we get this week as much as the next person. But I’m going to keep fighting for what really matters — the resources, time, and respect that all educators need to make sure that all students can get the education and opportunities that they deserve.

If you want to fight for that too, click here for some opportunities to join me. We’re making great progress — winning $1.1 billion in new funding for more staff, better salaries, and more on the heels of our March for Our Schools — but just as we can’t be satisfied with a single week of appreciation, we can’t be satisfied until all of our schools, educators, and students have what they need to be successful.

Thanks for all that you do, this week and every week, for our students.