This phenomenon is real. I remember other Teacher Appreciation Days which were marked by breakfasts, scented candles, coffee mugs and the like. Today, there was a three page memo of George Schultz’ musings on teachers, accompanied by a microscopic chocolate treat that one required a miner’s lamp to locate in the mailbox. I, for one, was of course crossing my fingers in the hopes of receiving SOME kind of lengthy memo, so that was a relief. . .
I don’t mean to be ungrateful. I guess that it should be no surprise that our Teacher Appreciation is also linked like an iron vise to our state test scores. If our students were passing, we would perhaps once again return to the glory days of finding a full-size candy bar in our mailboxes. At one point today, I became painfully aware of the contrast between today’s reminders that I am, in fact, depreciating at an alarming rate, and what I might experience in a different setting. Why I allow such thoughts to creep in, I cannot say. It is masochism fo sho. It’s the Stay- Puft Marshmallow Man for Ray in Ghostbusters–it just popped in there. Choose the destructor! I pictured, just for a moment, a squeaky-clean, polite little suburban waif, handing me a gift basket of assorted, super clever and useful items (including a gift card for anything–oh, sweet, sweet gift cards) in a themed tote that cost more than my shoes.
“Shut up or I’ll punch you in the face!” “Your mama.” “Say it to my face.” “Do it!”
And in that moment, I snap it back, defuse the would-be fistfight, and start to make my mental shopping list for everything I need to buy for the classroom tonight: tissues, hand sanitizer, pencils, goodies for my prize box.