Everyone has a teacher who believed in them. That one person who saw your work, effort, or lack thereof and challenged, encouraged, and pressed you towards excellence. As adults, we can look back and appreciate them but also recognize the difficult job they do day in and day out. They work long hours, are criminally underpaid for raising up our nation’s future, and care for kids from all walks of life. They deserve more than a national week of appreciation, but it’s a good place to start.
Jimmy Fallon decided to devote some air time to teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week. He thanked the ones who had influenced his life and honored the teachers in his audience.
At first, they had them stand for applause, then (I can’t tell if it’s spontaneous or not) had them come onstage to help him start the show.
Two things stood out to me about Fallon’s thankfulness:
1. A small act can go a long way. It is neither crazy nor difficult for Fallon to take 2 minutes to shake some hands and thank teachers. But, taking time to say “thank you” to people who work hard and don’t hear it as much as they should meant a whole lot.
2. There were far more teachers at the taping than I would have thought. While I don’t think “The Tonight Show” audience is an accurate cross section of culture, I do think there are many more teachers than I assumed. Think about how many schools are in your community and how many teachers each school needs to function. There are a lot of teachers out there.
It’s not crazy to assume that every reader knows at least one teacher, and that those people are often exhausted by their work. Take some time to say “thank you” this week. Write a note to your favorite high school teacher. A little act from you will mean a lot to them.