Teachers are worthy of recognition

“If you can read this, thank a teacher.”
We’ve all heard this common saying. Maybe you saw it on a bumper sticker, a poster or even on the internet. Regardless of where we heard it, the quip hopefully made you think for just a second about the value of teachers.
Gov. Matt Bevin has declared May 8-12 Teacher Appreciation Week in the Commonwealth, and we think there are no one more worthy of some recognition than the men and women who prepare our youngest citizens for the “real world.”
Although the sentiment of the aforementioned quote is nice, it doesn’t quite fully grasp the impact teachers have on our lives, does it?
Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan summed up it well when he said, “Teachers are central to every single community in America. Each day, teachers come to school ready to tackle a job that is critically important, extraordinarily complex, often joyful, and, at times, heartbreaking. In essence, teachers help others to become their best selves and I can think of no more important work.”
Teachers are responsible for teaching us to read, to count, to say our ABCs and to recognize our colors. It is a teacher’s job to recount our nation’s history and introduce us to new languages, to cultivate our language and communication skills and get us ready for our job or post-secondary education. 
The job of a teacher extends so much further, though. Teachers aren’t just responsible for teaching us about science, math and reading. They also take on the task of teaching us to be kind and generous, to be hard working and diligent, to be a good leader but to also be cooperative as a group. Teachers give us many of the resources we need to rise above our circumstances, to step out of our comfort zones, to explore new ideas and unusual concepts and to be our best selves in all arenas. 
Every day, we entrust our children to these brave individuals who take on a task of helping raise a productive, educated, hardworking and well-prepared new generation of leaders, business people and parents. What a monumental task and undertaking it must be to take such a responsibility on.
Besides educating children, teachers also take on the burdens of their students. They are a line of intervention for children who need extra support. From their own pockets, they provide many of the supplies children need to be successful in the classroom. They make sure their students are well-fed, clothed and well-rested and find the resources to meet these basic needs if they aren’t met at home. 
Yes, our teachers carry a heavy burden when it comes to making sure our children are well-educated. But they also carry a tremendous duty of loving, nurturing, encouraging and cultivating young people.
This is why every week we take the time to recognize one teacher who has made a difference in our community.
This week, as we celebrate teachers, take the time to think about the men and women who made a difference in your life. Think about what they taught you from textbooks and on chalkboards, but also recall the traits they instilled in you that just made you a better person. And with those things in mind, thank a teacher this week.