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Behind the Books

Teacher Appreciation Week

May 2, 2022

Debbie has referenced in a few of her blogs that she has a son who is an elementary school principal. She’s talking about me. I’m Ted Macomber and I’ve been the principal at Olalla Elementary for the past seven years.

I was recently at a recruiting event for college students who are finishing their degrees and on the cusp of entering the teaching profession. The excitement shared by up-and-coming teachers seeking to inspire the next generation of youth is always inspiring and contagious. As an elementary school principal, I see this same excitement in our teachers every September when the new school year begins. As a school staff – we’re accustomed to riding that excitement all the way through June, until summer break when we all recharge with our families over the summer, and then start it all over again the following year. It’s a rewarding cycle of excitement, inspiration, and celebration, followed by recharging. The past two years however, it has been much different.

The emotional and physical toll on teachers over the past two years has been enormous. Teachers have been on the front lines with families, at times seeking to ensure some sense of stability in their communities and provide reassurance to bewildered students who have watched their worlds change right before them. And while our children may only have seen their teacher project happiness and optimism through it all, there is no denying that those same teachers have shed more than their fair share of tears simply trying to make it through the year, sometimes one day at a time. Because of that, this year (more than ever), teachers need to know how much they are appreciated.

With teacher appreciation week beginning May 2nd it is my hope that each person who reads this will be inspired to share a message of gratitude for the teachers in their community. If you have children still in school, consider ways to show your appreciation for the role they share with your child. If you do not have kids in school, think back to the teacher who had the greatest impact on your life, and send a message of gratitude in their direction. For me, it was Mr. Columbini at Marcus Whitman Junior High School. I was not a stellar student, and at times very difficult – but Mr. Columbini showed an interest in me that was unique and made a lasting impression. Thank you Mr. Columbini, and thank you to all the teachers in our schools who’ve endured some very difficult times. You are appreciated!

Are you looking for ways to support teachers or show that you appreciate them? I’ve rounded up a few ideas for you!

• Send a card.
• Purchase a dozen doughnuts and drop them off.
• Bring them supplies for their classroom.
• Bring them a coffee or tea.
• Take a day to volunteer in the classroom.

Ted and DM

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