Teaching is not about making money. Teaching is about making a difference, giving back to the community. With the beginning of a new school year, it is time thank the people who do so much for us. This article is dedicated to all the teachers who work so hard to raise the next generation.
Teachers work is very demanding. They don’t do it for the money. In fact, when my wife began teaching Hebrew in a Jewish day school, her salary was minimal, but it was enough to move us from one tax bracket to the next. We ended up giving all her salary back to Uncle Sam as taxes. Needles to say, I tried to talk her into staying home, but she enjoyed teaching so much that we agreed that it was not about the money, it was our way of contributing to the community in which we lived in.
My wife sees teaching as her mission in life; educating the next generation gives her so much satisfaction that she does it enthusiastically. Even after so many years in the classroom, she still gets excited when her students put together their first logical Hebrew sentence, or when a student moves up from one level to the next. She remembers all her students, their parents, their grandparents, and their siblings. Many of them are adults now. She gets excited when she hears that one of her former students is getting married, having children, or accomplishing something extraordinary. She feels pride in their accomplishments. Some of her students may not remember her, but she still remembers them.
If you are married to a teacher, you know that a teacher’s work never ends: After school, at home, teachers check homework and exams, prepare lessons plans, go to teacher-parents meetings, have phone conferences with parents, prepare programs for the next social event in school…the list is endless.
My wife has boxes and boxes with teaching material, old exams, and old homework assignments that I keep loading on and unloading off trucks every time we move. With the years, the number of boxes has grown significantly (and I’m not getting any younger). Before every house move, I ask my wife if there’s anything that I could discard off. The answer is always “NO”. A piece of paper, with the first Hebrew letter that a student wrote many years ago, is still a treasure and she keeps all of them.
I’m writing about my wife, because I see her doing it everyday. I’m sure that this is also true for many other educators and many other students. If you had teachers that were special. Stop what you are doing for a moment, send them a short email. Thank them for their hard work. They still remember you and it will make your teachers’ day.
- My wife is a Hebrew and Judaic teacher. She taught in Tampa and now teaches in Boca Raton
- My mother-in-law is a retired Hebrew teacher in Tampa.
- My sister-in-law is a Hebrew teacher in Tampa.
- My younger sister is a Hebrew teacher in an ulpan in Israel.
- My middle sister is a Hebrew teacher in Toronto, Canada.
- My older sister is a teacher in Israel.
- (I hope I didn’t forget anyone)