Gift cards, coffee cups, and cookies wrapped in tin
I have been given all of those over and over again
Thank you cards, handmade art, an placards for the wall
As an appreciated teacher I have received them all.
But standing in line at the football game I hear my name called out
I searched the crowd looking for the face that owned that shout.
A student from the past must be 20 something now.
He was older and taller but I knew the smile somehow
He stood awkward for a moment or two.. “That was a tough year” he said in greeting
“It was, I smiled back, “but you stood tall, and grew without retreating.
“Yeah” he said with a nod, then he shook my hand.
“Good to see you Mr. C Thanks” then he turned and
Hustled off not another word was spoken
No hallmark card or coffee cup was offered as a token
It was 30 seconds long and 10 years later, that return on my investment
But like in the classroom where we met, success is an individual assessment
This job is measured in forms most do not understand, our importance understated
Scores and grades and curriculum are what we do but not what is appreciated
What you teach is important. But it’s you that creates the impact
We help kids struggle, perceiver, and survive with their pride intact.
A nod is no small thing. The embodiment of growth and reflection
The nod is teacher appreciation.