What Does a Teacher Make?

It seems that more so this year that previous, I have been noticing a lot of teacher quotes and teacher articles. Some sent to me via emails, some I've come across in various publications, and others that have been included in year end notes. There are videos on line and special segments on news shows that celebrate award winning teachers. In my opinion there aren't enough hours in the day or media outlets to recognize ALL the outstanding teachers across this country. The local organization, The Alliance for Early Childhood, has a Teacher Tribute program that provides the opportunity to recognize a wonderful teacher when you make a contribution to The Alliance. Many of the ATB & B teachers have been honored with this tribute since its inception several years ago. When it comes to tributes, the most significant recognition of all for the teachers are the hugs, the smiles, and the "I love you" cards that come from the children.

One of the best responses to the question "what does a teacher make" is the direct reply: a teacher makes a difference. Tom Brokaw is quoted as saying: "It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference." A quote pinned to my bulletin board reads: "TEACHING - we're not in it for the income, we're in it for the outcome". This community of Holy Comforter is blessed to have teachers who are so dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the students they teach.

The difference in so many children through this past school year has been remarkable. I am privileged to see it across the range of ages in the 12 All Things Bright and Beautiful classes and in all the grade levels of the Church School classes. The three year old who didn't have a voice in September, in May rushed to tell her teacher the latest news in her life. The Junior Kindergartener, who couldn't recognize the letters in his name, could print it with pride by the end of the year. In the Mommy and Me classes, the babies wouldn't leave mommy's lap for the first several months. By the last class, I think all the moms could have left the room and they wouldn't have noticed! These are all accomplishment that can happen elsewhere, in other programs, in other schools. But in this special environment, the children's success is realized in the celebration of God's love. As Pastor Heath reminded the Junior Kinderteners on the last week of school; "you are all God's magnificent creations". And it's not just the younger ones. The older students who have come through ATBandB and the Church School are such wonderful young adults. Some are off to high school, others off to college. And I am confident that the foundation they received in their early years here has helped to shape the young adults they have become.

In a year end note to the teachers, Pastor Heath said this: "You have spent this year wiping noses, singing songs, sorting crayons, making scrapbooks, praising growth, tending hurt feelings, and so much more. Not everyone could do what you do. Not everyone is called to this work of teacher. Thank God you all are. You are truly among the best. What an honor it has been to walk along with you. To witness. To pray. To share. I am grateful."

So thank you, teachers, for making a difference. "To teach is to touch a life forever". And you have.