The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

Thank you, teachers!

Meaningful gestures make lasting impact
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While Teacher Appreciation Week has come and gone, we still wanted to hear directly from the educators themselves: What makes them feel valued and appreciated?

According to South High English teacher Joseph Moser, he believes that “teachers and educators feel true appreciation for their work and vocation when their students show up, do the work of life-long learning and critical thinking, and succeed in the classroom, as well as outside of the classroom.”

“No praise or appreciation is ever enough for any teacher in my opinion,” said social studies teacher and dean Samuel Bojanski. While a week is more than many other professions get, teaching can be a challenge year-round. “Random reminders of appreciation to anyone throughout the year, including teachers, are always welcomed.”

Bojanski added that he feels appreciated. “South High does a great job recognizing teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. A few organizations, like Educators Rising, Student Council and the South High Alumni Association, do something special to acknowledge teachers during our week,” he said. Teachers received “treats throughout the week – coffee or drinks – and items to thank us for our work. Outside of school, many businesses also provided discounts on products for teachers.”

English teacher Carrie Palmesano said that she liked the food trucks and the to-go smoothies that were offered to teachers this year, as well as the gift card giveaway. “I like the gift card drawings; they are fun!” When asked if she felt appreciated enough, she said she feels very appreciated and satisfied with the way she and other teachers are treated.

Social studies teacher Ellen Augustine said she enjoyed the luncheons and the treats that were brought around to teachers by the Educators Rising group. But what really surprised her was the 10-minute chair massage offered this year. “We’ve never had that before, and that was awesome!” But what brings a smile to her face and impacts her the most is the way students act. She said that students behaving and being respectful makes her smile, and even just a simple ‘thank you’ does the trick.

Choir teacher Tyler Gruttemeyer said he absolutely adores Teacher Appreciation Week and enjoys the thought of being valued. He said that everyone wants to feel appreciated in some way, so being able to receive that gift from other teachers and students means the most to him. Gruttemeyer also believes that South does a great job making sure teachers and staff feel valued. One of his favorite things is getting cards from students as a thank you which sometimes can bring him tears of joy.  “I always hope it’s clear that we care about you all, and to be seen for that at the end of the year is always a gift.”

As another week of appreciating educators closes, remember that a simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way. But it’s also important to listen to what teachers are really asking for – support, resources and a little bit of love. By showing our appreciation in meaningful ways, we can make a lasting impact on the educators who shape our future.

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Briceyda Alvarez-Simon, Staff Writer
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