Praising their teachers, asking them to take their kids back because they couldn’t handle their own children anymore. We laughed about it and seemed to share in a new level of understanding. For a hot minute, I thought, “WOW, maybe people in this country will actually start valuing their educators. Maybe, just maybe, this is the chance to shift, to gain some recognition and acknowledgement for all the work we do and all the roles we play every single day to not only keep kids safe, but also keep them engaged, learning, entertained, physically active, mentally healthy, socialized, well-adjusted, loved, responsible", etc etc…and the list goes on!
When we realized we weren’t heading back to school any time soon, many voices that sang songs of praise turned to frustration, disappointment, name-calling and judgment. Especially when summer came. So many of my clients and friends were feeling the brunt of internet brutality and the slander was unbearable for them.
Educators were called selfish and lazy, accused of wasting taxpayer dollars. These were shots straight to the heart.
Now, being an educator myself, I know that not all educators are created equal. To be honest, some educators shouldn’t be around children at all. Not all educators put children first and being an educator for them is just a job with a reliable paycheck that allows summer off. It’s not a passion, it’s a paycheck. I know this. I’ve worked alongside these educators. And my girls have had some of them as teachers, too.
But in my experience, those educators who's hearts aren't quite in it are the exception - not the rule. The majority of our educators became educators because they want to touch the future. They want to empower our young people to be dreamers, action takers, and compassionate human beings that care about the world we live in. They want to be that source of inspiration that they themselves never had when they were young. Or, they want to pay to it forward and be the one person that believes in their students no matter what.
This is why I became an educator. This is why all of my friends became educators. This is why every teacher of the year became an educator. It was their dream. It was a passion that could not be ignored; the calling that had to be answered.
For these educators, returning to school this year has required a lot of trust, patience, compassion, understanding, and…some serious grit, determination and motivation.
Educators around the world were thrust into a totally new way of being and doing. And most schools and districts seem to have taken a different path based on one of two things: what was best for their community or how their leadership decided to handle it.
Educators on the front lines have been at the mercy of all of this. Living in the space between knowing and not knowing, action and inaction, planning and not planning.
I have been so unbelievably impressed with how my girls’ school district and my former district has handled reopening. Honestly, it's even brought me to tears on more than one occasion. It hasn’t been easy. So many educators are talking about early retirement, getting new jobs outside of education, or starting a business.
We see you, we hear you, we value you.
So here at VIBE, we decided we are NOT waiting until May for Teacher Appreciation Week.
Inspired by Mental Illness Awareness week Oct 4th - 10th, we are launching a month-long Show Your Love event to make sure ALL our educators - including our teachers, professors, administrators, counselors, psychologists, special education teachers, instructional aides, librarians, office and support staff - ALL the players in running a school - know that they are LOVED, that they are supported, that they are downright amazing and that we appreciate them for all the work they do each and every day.
And what’s the best way to Show Your Love to an educator?
That’s right, VIBE is buying you coffee (or tea, or your fave Frappuccino, or breakfast sandwich…whatever your beautiful little heart desires!) PLUS each week's raffle winner will also get a spotlight feature on VIBE's social media channels so we can all Show Our Love to the incredible education professionals in our community.
Here's how it's going to go down:
Each week in October, VIBE will be highlighting a different category of education professionals, including daily content and resources geared towards helping education professionals raise their VIBE and increase their impact.
On Mondays you'll find a special post on VIBE's social channels prompting you to tag an incredible teacher, administrator, counselor, etc (within that week's category). All you have to do is tag the professional you think we should recognize in the comments section and like/share the post and voila! - you'll be entered in our weekly raffle! Weekly winners will be drawn on Wednesday and spotlight features will be posted on Friday of the same week.
Participate every week to increase your chances of winning and to show some love to educators in all departments of our schools!
This is an incredibly small gesture compared to what you do in our schools and for our children everyday, but we hope to bring more positivity into your days while showing you how much you're truly appreciated.
I can't wait to see you there!