Teaching is sometimes considered a thankless job, but for at least one week every year, school divisions, parents and educational partners are encouraged to show teachers and school staff that what they do is appreciated.
That week is this week. February 10 to 16 is designated Teacher-Staff Appreciation Week.
For staff in the Christ the Teacher division that means a free lunch. All this week school board trustees are delivering the noontime meal to the schools.
“It’s kind of a tradition in our system,” said Darrell Zaba, director of education. “It goes over well, the staff enjoys it.”
Doreen Rathgeber delivered the lunches to St. Michael’s school teachers on Monday.
“We know that they work very hard and they’re trying to do their best for the children so this is just a little bit of a token to show our appreciation for all their hard work,” she said.
Susan Cochrane, vice-principal at St. Michael’s said it does make them feel appreciated.
“We really appreciate when we can have a lunch brought into us because our days are so busy, so it is nice to have our school board appreciate us,” she said.
The Good Spirit School Division also honours its teachers and staff in a similar way. Lynel Martinuk, communications coordinator for the division said the board would be delivering baskets of goodies for all the Good Spirit staff rooms and that the school community councils (SCC) will be doing various other things for teachers, for example, coffee and donuts in the morning or lunches.
“It’s unique to each school facility, that’s what makes it so special,” Martinuk said. “The SCCs run with it; the do a great job. It goes over well; the staff enjoys it.”
Cochrane said she also expects St. Michael’s and the other Catholic schools will be feeling the love of their SCCs all week.
“During the week, our SCC is usually very kind to us,” she said. “They bring us lunches and little gifts for us each day and little prizes for the students, so they also partake in the teacher appreciation week and it’s a lovely week for us.”
The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation encourages parents to get involved as well.
“If you’re a parent, whether actively involved in school activities on a regular basis or not, this would be an opportune time to stop by your local school and express that appreciation,” wrote Colin Keess, STF president. “It doesn’t have to be in any sort of extravagant manner, just a confirmation of the significant role that teachers play in the lives of students and in the education system.”
Keess also sees the annual event as an opportunity to promote the importance of the teacher-parent relationship.
“We invite parents to take an active interest in your child’s education—to be engaged in the programs and activities in the school, to talk with your child’s teacher about your child’s special talents and hobbies that will help to focus learning and to support your child’s learning outside of the classroom,” he said. “When parents and their child’s teacher work in partnership, the child clearly benefits.”