Monday, May 08, 2006

Teacher Appreciation Week (Or: A Funny Funny Joke)

So, it's National Teacher Appreciation Week this week, National Day of the Teacher today, and California Day of the Teacher tomorrow. My first question is where everyone is who's supposed to be appreciating me? Second question: why can't California and the nation as a whole get together and have the same day?

Anyway, it was really nice of the district to give us a press release for Teacher Appreciation Week/Day/Days. We got a copy in our mailboxes so we'd feel appreciated. Here it is. .

Oakland Unified School District officials today asked all members of the community to help honor Oakland public school teachers during national Teacher Appreciation Week May 7 through May 14.

"Oakland's nearly 3,000 classroom teachers do one of the most difficult, most highly skilled and most significant jobs in the city," said Dr. Kimberly Statham, OUSD Chief Academic Officer. "Outside of the home, no one has more impact on the growth and future success of our children."

Established in 1984 by the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), this year's commemoration also includes two additional noteworthy events: the National Day of the Teacher on May 9 and the California Day of the Teacher May 10.

In a letter to teachers this week, State Administrator Randolph Ward wrote: "As the California Day of the Teacher nears on May 10, I want to thank you for all that you have done, and will continue to do, on behalf of Oakland's children. You are an inspiration to all who watch you work by the guiding principles of commitment and excellence."

The National PTA recommends that parents show support this week by contributing classroom materials such as chalk, books and other supplies. The PTA also suggests planting trees in honor of individual teachers or creating a "Wall of Fame" where students, parents and principals can write messages to teachers. OUSD is encouraging all members of the community to find some way to express appreciation to teachers over the course of the week.

OK, so we didn't actually get the letter from the superintendent, but getting a press release saying he wrote it is almost the same thing, right? I mean, it's the thought that counts! And I'm sure the parents here will show appreciation by donating supplies and planting trees. Oh, maybe they're a little busy working multiple jobs to try to get above the poverty line or provide food for their children, but if they get their priorities straight, they'll definitely plant a tree for me. If only we all lived in the National PTA's shiny happy world!

The picture is of our volunteer athletes, who are incredible. I"ll write about them soon. They kick ass.


Jessica said...

Yes, the PTA blurb did come across a bit like "Appreciate your servants! Give your gardener the day off and throw a tree-themed Planting Party!"

But even more appalling to me than the disconnect of Martha Stewartism is that the Oakland Chamber of Commerce did NOTHING for Teacher appreciation. As far as I'm concerned, parents have a lot of opportunities to appreciate teachers - parents and teachers are teammates.

The ones who really need a "day" are all the people who aren't currently affiliated with the educational system but who nevertheless benefit from them. Chief among these would be the Chambers of Commerce (many do have teacher apprecation events), local non-profit organizations who draw volunteer labor, churches - who are just good at reaching the community-at-large, higher Ed, etc.

julie said...

I APPRECIATE YOU, Bron!! You rock. Hard. How about if I plant a tomato bush for you sometime sonn? That OK?