These are busy days in most households with school-age children: Academic years are coming to a close, finals and graduations are right around the corner. So it was no surprise that National Teacher Day, which was YESTERDAY, came and went without notice or fanfare in our family. Frankly, it slipped through the cracks of the turkey sandwiches i'd packed for the kids' lunch. Score me an F+ on that one. Teacher Appreciation Day should be as celebrated as Mother's Day, and with good reason. The men and women entrusted with the care and education of our children deserve our undying gratitude. In my grade book, every day should be Teacher Day. I might not be able to remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, but I can vividly recall my Third grade teacher, Mary DeArmond. The desks were bigger than she was, but she reigned over the classroom like a steel magnolia. She was sweet like southern tea and a delight. There were others like Mrs. DeArmond who left an indelible mark on my heart and spirit. Shirliann Swertfager, a mother of ten who was still brave enough to take on a room full of restless teens on the verge of high school, has to be on the vatican's short list for sainthood. Then there was Miss Smile. In case you're wondering, there was absolutely NO correlation between her surname and the facial gesture. She taught countless Garces students to type, but her skills were better suited for Afghanistan. She had a short fuse, and an even shorter wooden ruler to match. If your knuckles made it through the class untouched, it was an A+ day.
Over the years our children have been blessed with amazing teachers as well - kind, compassionate and patient, even when they were tested to the outer limits of insanity. Our oldest, the unofficial record holder for most in-house suspensions at St. Francis school, probably contributed to the premature graying of a few instructors.
Through it all, their grace and committment, rainy day in, fog-delay day out, in sickness and in hyperactivity, in good grades and bad behavior, they have helped shape the most important people in our life - our children. For that I am eternally grateful.
Even if you missed Teacher Appreciation Day as I did, shoot your child's teacher an e-mail, jot them a note, or give them a hug the next time you see them at school. They deserve it! And remember, it 'manners' a lot!