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Letter: Teachers make a difference in the lives of their students

Teachers make a difference in the lives of their students

May 2 to 6 is National Teacher Appreciation Week, with today being designated as Teacher Appreciation Day. As retired educators, the members of the Western Zone of the New York State Retired Teachers’ Association (NYSRTA) fully understand the challenges, frustrations – and yes, the joys – associated with teaching. We want to express our gratitude and appreciation to all of those who have made it their life’s work to bring knowledge, and so many other non-measurable variables, to our young people. It is a respect that shouldn’t be limited to a single designated week or day. While the recognition is called Teacher Appreciation, our praise is extended to all educational support personnel from early childhood education through post secondary instruction. Each level brings its own unique set of circumstances and conditions.

Today’s educators are faced with a large number of socioeconomic and regulatory conditions over which they have no control. They are expected to reach high-quality goals with inadequate time, tools and resources. The miracle is that, time after time, they reach and surpass these expectations. Effective teaching is far from being a lost art; its recognized value, however, has become a lost tradition.

We salute all active educators. We know and value your worth. We support you as you perform your daily tasks amid the myriad of bureaucratic regulations you face. We empathize as you fight to retain the best quality education for all students and the protection of working conditions for school employees. We are proud of our careers in education and we wish you success and satisfaction in yours. You have made education your life. Stand proud and embrace it, knowing that you really do make a huge difference in the lives of your students and community. You make all other jobs and professions possible.

Doris R. Kirsch

President Western Zone, NYSRTA