Editorial: Teacher appreciation should be year-round - Albuquerque Journal

Editorial: Teacher appreciation should be year-round

Teachers make a difference, an incredible lifelong difference, and we should never forget that, particularly during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Many of us have a favorite teacher or two who made school both fun and instructive. Maybe it was the elementary teacher who helped us learn practical things — everything from how to tie our shoes to being part of a school community. For others it might have been a math teacher who made quick calculations fun with flash cards, a science teacher who wowed us with experiments using Bunsen burners or vacuum tubes or an English teacher who encouraged us to read whatever personally interested us.

Others have been motivated by an educator who supervised extracurricular activities and taught us to push ourselves and never give up. Quality teachers are essential and are never forgotten by their former students. In 2018, data showed some of New Mexico’s exemplary teachers — the highest ranking on the state teacher evaluations under Gov. Susana Martinez — delivered the equivalent of 25 months of learning in a single year.

And oh do we need them now, more than ever.

Our teachers are feeling stresses. They’ve done yeoman’s work throughout the pandemic. We know it’s never been more challenging, first adapting to remote learning and mastering new technologies, then juggling both in-person and remote instruction, and now trying to pick up the pieces and reverse the inevitable learning loss that came with closed schools. It took determination, dedication and innovation to keep coming back, day after day, and try to keep students engaged.

A common thread among many who have had success in their personal and professional lives is a teacher who made a difference, showed a personal interest, lit the flames of curiosity. That’s what teaching is all about.

We commend all of our teachers this week. But we shouldn’t just recognize their essential efforts one week a year. We should appreciate teachers every day, all year long.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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