Yesterday, actually this whole weekend, is a blur. As I often do, I threw myself into a cause I believed in, which took up most of my free thinking time. I created Thank a Teacher Day to honor all teachers, to pay tribute to them on a day that wasn’t Teacher Appreciation Day or the day before break or the last day of school. The goal was to remind people of all that teachers and school staff give to children every day of the year.
I was floored. I was overwhelmed. I had no idea how big this could become. Thank a Teacher Day was recognized as far as Australia. I received emails and tweets of “thanks” from Principals in inner cities and suburbs, alike. My kids’ teachers hugged me. They cried.
Of course, as I responded to my third grade son’s teacher, tears were not my intention. My intention was to bring a bit of brightness to a difficult, dark day. A difficult, dark time in education.
Thank a Teacher Day ended up being a huge distraction for me. I raced from store to store, buying flowers and cake and cookies, delivering them with notes of appreciation. I came home and attempted to retweet every tweet using the #ThankaTeacher hashtag (and I know I missed a lot of them.) I responded and commented on people’s Thank a Teacher posts on their blogs and shared many on Facebook and Pinterest. I shared Thank a Teacher Day with various audiences–from George Takei’s Facebook fans to Rusty & Rosy readers.
You know what I forgot to do? I forgot to grieve. And, so, this morning, I finally grieved. I cried after the bus pulled away, again as I dropped off my daughter at the kids’ gym room and again before my gym class. And then in the shower. And later in the car. It’s 2:52, and I’m crying again and I know I’ll cry again tonight.
I’m crying for the heroes, the losses, the families, our fears. I’m crying for the love I’ve seen throughout the aftermath of this tragedy. For the little angels in heaven, for the teachers and staff who protected them. I’m crying for our very sad nation.
I’m crying with love and it’s my intention that while my tears will stop, we will never forget. Instead, I’m hopeful that the love that we’ve seen this past week will continue to build. That we’ll be more appreciative to those that touch our lives daily.
As for #ThankATeacher Day, it doesn’t have to stop. #ThankaTeacher is still an active hashtag on twitter. It’s still something fresh in so many of our minds. It’s a movement and there isn’t a reason to wait for a special day to thank someone that makes a difference in your life.
Next year, on Monday, December 16, 2013, will I host Thank a Teacher Day 2013? Will there be a call for posts, for social sharing… a call for love in honor and memory of all teachers, those with us and those no longer? I’m torn on that. Between now and then, we’ll give thanks to teachers and educators and everyone else who means something to us. Because that’s what people do. So will another day be necessary? I’d like to say “no.” But, let’s be honest, excuses help remind us, so… we’ll go with maybe, 365 days to decide.
Thank you, all of you, for participating in Thank a Teacher Day. And thank you, most of all, to those who give to our children every day.
© 2012, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.