This week marks National Teacher Appreciation Week. As a former teacher, I recall receiving flowers, gift cards and cute poems from students and their families, expressing appreciation for the job I did. That was more than five years ago, however, and boy have times changed. The pressures associated with teaching have multiplied, and the expectations have increased as well.
When recruiting teachers for Bright Lights, one of the phrases I hear over and over again is “I’m excited to teach my camp because I can focus on having fun with the students.” We have lesson plans, we operate within a schedule, but for the most part teachers drive their curriculum and activities based on their personal passions and interests.
We try to find ways to say thank you. We brought a coffee truck to Roper Elementary, our new home this summer, and treated staff to drinks and pastries. During programming, we provide treats and notes to show our appreciation. We share survey comments with individual teachers who are identified by families for making the week special for their students.
Teachers are the difference makers in our program. They are what set Bright Lights apart and draw students back each summer. Teachers are the secret sauce in our summer burger, so to speak.
As we approach the start of our summer camps, it is with great gratitude that I say thank you to all teachers, but especially our Bright Lights teachers. Thank you for sharing your time and talents, and thank you for choosing to return each summer. And just because I know how special poems can be, here is mine to you:
Bright Lights teachers are the best,
They bring fun and learning without the tests.
Their love for learning can’t be beat,
They are what make our program complete.