Teacher Appreciation Week 2018: Looking to the Future

Earlier this week we discussed the educational experiences from our past that influenced who we are as people and educators. Today, we’ll be looking into the future and sharing our hopes and dreams for our students, and the early childhood field ten years from now.

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What do you hope your students will remember about their time in your class in 10 years?

Among all questions that we asked our faculty, this question had overwhelmingly similar responses. All our teachers shared that they hope, above everything else, that SEEC children will have a continued love of learning and knowledge of how much they were loved at SEEC:

I hope they will feel that they were valued and accepted. I hope something in my class will have sparked an interest in them that they pursue or value later in life.

Honestly, most of the children I work with are so young that they will not be able to remember or link words to those memories. This does not bother me because I believe that what they have experienced my class will have lasting impacts on their life. I hope that some of these impacts include a love for learning, the belief and freedom to explore and wonder, and the courage to keep going when things become difficult.

I would hope beyond the visits and amazing lessons that they would remember all of the love that was flowing throughout our experience at SEEC.

I want my student to remember being explorers, to remember being curious. My kids are very young so I know they will not remember all the content so I want them to remember that school is fun, they are capable of trying anything, and teachers are their partners in accomplishing their goals.

That learning doesn’t have to be filled with tests or arduous concepts but that learning is a place to ask questions, to embrace new knowledge and most importantly a place where we can laugh and learn at the same time.

I would love for my students (and/or their families) to remember the holistic approach to education and child development. Practices for empathy building, growth mindset, and resilience. I would hope that their experiences of learning through their community establishes a strong sense of advocacy and the importance of belonging/uplifting their community. “We are all the same, we are all different”

That we created a space for them to be themselves! That asking questions is always okay; and that finding ways to express yourself in your work and classroom choices is always important. That showing emotion is completely okay. Learning can be fun and creative. We are different but we are all the same.

The feeling of wonder, the fascinating experiences on our visits that they won’t get much of in later years, the memory of how much I loved them and hopefully made them feel good about themselves


What would you like Teacher Appreciation to look like in 10 years?

Several educators hope that more teachers get the recognition and appreciation that we do at SEEC:

I hope teachers are appreciated all year round by being paid more and getting lots of support from their administrations, like we do here at SEEC 🙂

I would hope teacher appreciation would be monumentally recognized (not just at SEEC but globally).

If it [teacher appreciation week] looked like it did today at SEEC everywhere in the world, I think teachers would feel much more appreciated.

Many teachers hope for more recognition for their skills through higher salaries and respect for the early childhood field:

Honestly I would appreciate a better salary for the work we do, nothing would make me feel more appreciated year round. More respect and recognition for the work we put into children’s education.

I hope that teachers are appreciated year round through increased pay and the acknowledgement that teaching takes true skill.

Continually pushing forward what the idea of education looks like. Having teacher voices elevated to the same audible levels as CEO’s at Fortune 500 companies. Celebrating teachers and other community caretakers with increased dedication (money & attention) to their fields.

More than just a flower or a card and having caregivers and professionals truly recognize the impact of a successful teacher.

Some mentioned their hope that more people will gain a better understanding of what it means to be a teacher:

Appreciation is defined as the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something; a full understanding of a situation. In 10 years I’d like to see parents spend a day with a SEEC class. I know parents value the work that we do daily and know that SEEC is a very special place. I think by spending a day with a SEEC class, parents will have a chance to see what educators do on a daily basis. Or parents could even volunteer to come in to help at lunch or snack or go on a visit. I believe that appreciation is more than something tangible and that doing things like visiting to get a better understanding of the work educators do daily is the highest form of appreciation.

I would teacher appreciation to encompass educating those who are not teachers of all the things we actually do.

In ten years, I hope teacher appreciation could involve parents stepping into volunteer roles to further create a home school connection.


What would you like to see changed in the educational field in 10 years?

Creating a more diverse, inquisitive educational field that is inclusive of all learning styles was a common thread among educator responses:

I would like to have more effective and nurturing standards for behavior management and classroom control. I would like more research and guidance on how to teach different subjects to children of different learning styles and developmental stages. I would like to have more information on how children learn language.

So much….but mostly an educational system that supports all types of learners and offers opportunities for growth based on a student’s strengths and interests.

Less focus on test results, more exploration and curiosity in all classrooms.

I’d like to see a bit more diversity in ALL schools and a much smaller achievement gap. We’re getting there, but it’s a slow process.

What was our faculty’s other hope for the field in 10 years? More value placed on education and teachers in our society:

I believe that educators are not respected, paid or cared for enough. Educators have the daunting task of meeting standards while still managing to extend themselves to care for and about the students that they teach all while being creative. They work beyond their scheduled time and often times will use their personal funds to make sure all of their students have the materials needed for a productive and successful school year. With the emotional, financial and mental strains, I’d like to see teachers celebrated as being important professionals in our society who can earn $100,000 per year with access to quality and affordable mental health.

I would obviously like to see pay better match the skills, education, time and effort teachers put into their work. I would like to see in general more value put the work we do. An investment banker makes a hundred times what a teacher makes but they are definitely not 100 times as important.

For early education: I would like to see a lot of change in the benefits and importance of learning at a young age (even pre verbal) For all of education: (there’s a lot) overall, I would love to see it held to a societal value that it deserves.

I would like for teachers to be more respected and acknowledged for their dedication and hard work. I don’t ever want to hear the saying “If you can’t do, teach” EVER! Teaching is something that not everyone can do and it really takes special people to do it well! I hope that in 10 years we are respected as education professionals and not just people who couldn’t do something else, but CHOSE this profession.

Education elevated to a stature that it is viewed is a linchpin for our economic and diplomatic success. Less bombs and more books.

Greater appreciation for the importance of early childhood education to the extent that pay is equivalent with other levels of teaching.

What are your hopes for the future of education? Share with us in the comments!