Powerful words. Powerful enough that their presence soothes and strengthens. Powerful enough that their absence bring disillusionment and bitterness.
We at Shine have witnessed the power of these words this May, during Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week. Some Shine partners have hosted luncheons, others have created small gifts, others have given gift cards. None of these activities have been earth-shattering events that made the news; but they have all been done in the spirit of genuine gratitude.
Why are our APS Title I teachers so deserving of our thanks?
In the 2017-2018 school year, 64,000 New Mexico kids whose families qualify for APS food services sat in their classrooms. That’s 64,000 kids from homes where their caregivers struggle to make ends meet. Many are in foster care. Many are being raised by their grandparents. Many are homeless.
Our teachers, while trying to make academic strides with their students, are also concerned for their safety and health…physical, mental, and emotional.
And they are given the tasks of teaching our young ones to dream…to believe in themselves…to work hard…to succeed.
A great percentage of our future sits in our public schools that are under-staffed. Many teachers will have 28 to 35 children in their class, and they will not likely have an educational assistant unless they teach kindergarten or kids with special needs. They often will do this without support from their students’ caregivers. It is a lonely job.
Though trained and talented enough to teach anywhere, our teachers have chosen to stay here…to invest in New Mexico’s future.
We are so grateful for their patience, for their personal sacrifices, for their willingness to step into the overwhelm of their classroom. And they need to know.
They need to know that they are seen. They need to know someone is in their corner. They need to know that even though their grade book may not reflect the blood, sweat, and tears that they poured out this year, they have made a lasting impact on their community.
And do you know what happens when we express these things to them in the form of luncheons and cards and treats? Would you think that they see these offerings as a pittance compared to what they deserve?
If so, you couldn’t be more wrong.
The outpouring of gratitude in return is astonishing. Here are a few quotes from APS Title I teachers that we received last week in response to our small demonstration of gratitude:
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s so lovely to feel so supported and appreciated. Thank you for believing in us!”
“It’s these tokens of appreciation that keep me here and happy!”
“Words cannot express how grateful we are”
“We absolutely could not do what we do without community support.”
“The solution to many of the world’s problems is showing up and sharing your talents to make a direct impact on a child’s life. The way Shine supports our school makes a
APS teachers, especially those of you invested in Title I schools, if you don’t know it yet…
We’re with you
We’re for you
We’re grateful for you.