Well, here we are – yes, it’s the holiday season, but by the end of the month we’ll be halfway through the school year. How can that be possible? This month will be filled with classroom celebrations and plays, finishing up the second-quarter, and for some schools, mid-year assessments.
I taught in higher education for many years, and I remember very well that as students joyously celebrated taking their last final or turning in their last paper, I found myself looking anxiously at the stack of tests and papers to grade. Since I was grading up to a few days before Christmas, I usually had to do all my shopping on Christmas Eve. For all those teachers who are not rushed to get things graded before the holiday, you can bet that they will be working on their break, preparing lesson plans and getting ready for the second half of the school year. In fact, they will often go back to work in early January with an urgency about how much they still need to do to prepare their students for the upcoming state assessments. Educators, no matter the age of their students, are always planning, thinking about how to improve their craft, how to provide better resources, and how to engage their students in the learning process.
So as we think of the holiday season, remember that educators give so much of themselves to their students every day. While teachers of young students may get lots of hugs and gifts during the holidays, remember to also say thank you to the middle school and high school teachers that may not hear it enough.