Teachers Matter to Kids

Teacher Appreciation Week is a great time to think about the many ways teachers help us learn and grow. Students need teachers' expertise to learn to read, write and do basic math, of course. But teachers do so much more! They guide their students to develop friendships, solve problems, understand the scientific method, think critically, build healthy habits, spark creativity, speak new languages and more. Strong teachers support and challenge their students, balancing high expectations with lots of empathy.

Kids often have strong opinions about how things should be done, including getting ready for a new school year. In How to Get Your Teacher Ready, primary students provide expert advice for their teacher to have a good first day of school, picture day, holiday concert... and a successful whole year in their classroom!

Consistency is a key part of getting kindergarteners and first graders used to classroom routines and expectations. But what happens when your teacher is out sick? A student writes a series of letters to share their criticisms of how the substitute teacher is doing everything wrong in Dear Substitute. Will they be able to work things out by the end of the school day?

A Letter to My Teacher shares the narrator's experience as a second grader who found school daunting because sitting still and listening were "two things I wasn't much good at." The letter writer's teacher compares her to a fearless explorer, provides creative and engaging ways to learn math and reading and gives her opportunities to take on new responsibilities. When the student gets into tough situations, her teacher is always there to help, even when the student really can be "exasperating." As the narrator prepares to start her first job as a teacher, she reflects that second grade "really was the best year ever," sharing gratitude for her inspiring teacher.

Teachers are regular people who brush their teeth and go grocery shopping, but they're also really special. Teachers are very caring, passionate, hard-working people who are dedicated to their students. They always want to help and encourage kids to pursue their interests. Teachers especially love to see their students grow and succeed. I think Teachers Rock! How about you?

Who is your favorite teacher? What do you most appreciate about them?