It is Teacher Appreciation Week, and as usual I waited until the last minute to put anything together for these wonderful people. I have...

It is Teacher Appreciation Week, and as usual I waited until the last minute to put anything together for these wonderful people. I have desperately tried for years to make cute, creative, Pinterest inspired gifts for the teachers in our life, and it stresses me out every time. As of last year, I gave up. I will buy a gift card and give you some candy, and have my children write a note about why they love you so much. That is truly about all I can handle.

I try to show my appreciation through-out the year, by teaching my children to appreciate their teachers. So far, it has been a success (at least for the kindergartner). My sweet girl absolutely adores her kindergarten teacher, and so do I. Lisa Gwaltney is a model teacher, and one that I wish all children would get to experience. She is patient, she is kind, she has plans A, B, and even C for when things do not go as they should. My daughter has bloomed in her class this year, not just academically, but as a human being. Mrs. Gwaltney has taught my daughter to be patient with others, to speak in a calm voice, and to show kindness to everyone. To me, these are more important than reading above grade-level, and understanding the water cycle.

Mrs. Gwaltney currently has eggs in an incubator in her classroom. The children are anxiously awaiting the first little crack and peep of the hatching baby chicks. According to my darling girl, Mrs. Gwaltney goes home for supper every night, then drives back to school to check on the eggs, she then goes back home to spend time with her family (she is a mother to three) and then goes BACK to school (possibly in her jammies) to check on the eggs again. Do you see what kind of person she is? This is a very dedicated woman; she is dedicated to her school, her family, and most importantly (to me), my child and her class. She wants them to have these experiences, and she is willing to sacrifice her time so that they may witness exceptional things. She is teaching them to be interesting, kind and educated human beings. I truly wish she could follow us throughout our elementary years.

Teachers have such wonderful opportunities to teach our children. They have the ability to educate them in ways that go beyond the academic day. Speaking patiently, showing kindness, being inclusive of ALL children, making sure the child has what they need not only at school, but also when they go home – being fully engaged with the child. I am so thankful that we have had such outstanding teachers, and I truly hope that they all know how much they are appreciated.

Enjoy this week, teachers! My hope is that every week of the year, you feel appreciated.