This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, which means that it’s a big week here at the Y. With more than 600 teachers and teacher support associates working across our countless youth development programs, we should all take some to thank them for the incredibly important work they do to educate, enrich and support the thousands children in our preschool, Head Start, Before & After School Enrichment, Community School and summer enrichment programs across the region. It takes a special kind of individual to devote her (or his) energy, love, wisdom and experience to the development of young people. Given the monumental impact teachers and other educational professionals have throughout every child’s life, it’s hard to imagine more important work.
My hat is off to all of you! To our Y Preschool and Head Start teachers and support associates who help assure that every young child who walks through our doors leaves extremely well prepared to succeed in kindergarten and well beyond. To the Y Before and After School Enrichment and Community Schools program associates who work tirelessly to help children start and finish their school day with a happy, confident spirit. To the Y summer enrichment associates who work so diligently to help elementary school children get back on grade level in their reading and homeless high school kids gain their confidence, I salute and deeply appreciate you all!
If you were to peer into the more than 100 Y Preschool, Head Start, Before & After School, Community School and summer enrichment sites, here’s a tiny glimpse of what you might see a Y teacher doing at any given moment:
- Helping with countless hours of homework
- Dispensing snack and meals to children (many of whom can’t rely upon a dinner awaiting them at home)
- Waiting during bad weather for the last child to be picked up (which can be as late as 10pm!!!!
- Nurturing a child who has experienced the loss of a family member or some other traumatic events
- Navigating through countless small disputes on the playground, while keeping a close eye on others
- Arranging for basic needs like food and clothing to be met so students can focus on learning
- Teaching the fundamentals that prepare children to be lifelong learners
- Wiping away tears and fears
- Advising hard working parents on how to best support their child’s development
- Interacting with and supporting principals and other educators
- Helping children discover passions through fun and engaging projects
- Keeping kids active, moving and healthy
- Reminding them all that they are loved and valued every single day
We should certainly appreciate teachers 52 weeks a year. They are the unsung heroes who are the glue between family life and a child’s successful entry into society. We can never thank them enough, but we shall always try.
All the best,
John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland