Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

May 9, 2014

Teachers make a difference

Thank an instructor during Teacher Appreciation Week

Most of us have one or two teachers who have had a major effect in our lives. You know who it is. It’s the teacher who saw something in you that others didn’t; the one who took time to encourage you to pursue your dreams, no matter how far-fetched they might seem; the one who went the extra distance to help you out in any way possible.

You may not have realized it at the time. Like many students, you were probably wondering why the teacher was being hard with you and your classmates, demanding things that might have seemed impossible at the time. It might not have been until college or when you got into the workplace that a light bulb went off in your head and you realized, what seemed like being over demanding was, in fact, a lesson in life and preparing you for when you enter the real world.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, a week set aside to honor teachers across America for all the hard work they put in helping our children — those who will be running this great land in years to come — get the best education possible.

Teachers put in long, hard hours both inside and outside the classroom. They also do it at great personal sacrifice.

According to a study by the National School Supply and Equipment Association, teachers spent about $3.2 billion during the 2012-13 school year on teaching supplies and materials. Of that money spent, about half — $1.6 billion — comes from their own pockets.

The average teacher spends about $500 of their own money on a variety of supplies. Sure, they don’t have to make that sacrifice, but with cash-strapped school districts and ever increasing demands for better educational results, most choose to do so.

Are all teachers perfect? No, but then again, neither is anyone else. Unfortunately, teachers generally gain attention when one of them does something wrong or when a school’s performance level isn’t where it should be. But for every teacher who is having problems, there are scores of others who go the extra mile for their students, their school and ultimately, their community.

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