Thanks, Teachers!

What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.

~Karl Menninger

ImageIt’s Teacher Appreciation Week! Valley Grange does appreciate our teachers… who you are and what you do! And we appreciate the opportunities we have to work with you and the kids!

Parents and kids… if you’d like some ideas for ways to show some appreciation to your teacher(s)… you can start at this website:

Some thoughts from “Mr. Boomsma”…

It’s that time of year when political issues dominate the news and conversation. We are reading, listening and talking about elections, taxes, school budgets, and a host of other topics. When we focus on the politics it is easy to forget about the people.

It’s my privilege to work with several of the local schools through Valley Grange’s Words for the Thirds Dictionary and Bookworm Program. Both of these programs have given me a deep appreciation for what is happening in our schools and communities and gratitude for the people who are facilitating it. Kids are learning like crazy and, I think, teachers are teaching like crazy!

While bookworming earlier this year, a second grader told me that he was quite sure his brain was too small—he gets overwhelmed by all the things there are to learn at school. I wanted to tell him that I knew exactly how he felt but instead suggested that perhaps his brain was just too busy and he needed to focus. I’ve also had a second grader offer me that same advice, “Mr. Boomsma, you need to focus!”

It pays to listen to our children. It’s encouraging, exciting, rewarding and educational. My second and third grade friends don’t always know a lot about local politics, but they often surprise me with what they do know and how they are learning. At the end of the day education is about kids and teachers. We can and should debate politics and our social and economic issues. But occasionally we need to focus.

As I sat to write this I realized that I do not remember a lot of detail regarding the political and social issues from my childhood. But I can name a lot of my teachers. My admiration for them has actually increased over the years.

So National Teacher Appreciation week is an opportunity to offer a simple but sincere “thanks” for the incredible jobs you do. Keep filling those brains!