Memphis-Shelby County Schools directed this message of appreciation to "all our dedicated educators and staff" via a social media post.
TSD education columnist Curtis Weathers: “…to the dedicated public-school educators who tirelessly shape the minds and hearts of our future generations, a heartfelt thank you for your unwavering commitment to excellence.”

During this season of Thanksgiving, it’s always a good time to reflect on the many aspects of our lives for which we are grateful.

Few things in our lives, however, are as important as the teachers, administrators, and support staff that manage our public schools.

They play such a vital role in our children’s growth and development and in shaping our society’s future.

Public school educators dedicate their lives to nurturing young minds, imparting knowledge, and instilling values that help our children become well-rounded individuals.

Their impact is felt in every aspect of society, from the economy to the arts to the political arena.

While Thanksgiving season is a great time to reflect on and express one’s gratitude for any number of things, we as a society should be in a constant state of thankfulness for the hard work and dedication of our public-school educators.

We don’t express our gratitude enough.

I have, on many occasions, run into former students or colleagues who are quick to share odes of thankfulness for the support their teachers and staff gave during their time in our schools.

It is incredible and immensely gratifying to hear their kind words of appreciation.

A teacher friend recently shared on Facebook a letter she received from one of her elementary school students, and this was, in part, what it said:

“Ms. ____, you’re the best teacher ever! Thank you for all the support and hard work you put in and provide for me. I just know it’s hard waking up every day but I love to see you here each and every day. To be honest you is my favorite teacher. I love science, and I try my best then I take the test, and then I score.  I Love you…!”

Notes or letters like this are what fuel the fire in great public-school teachers.

Our schools are filled with a diverse group of educators who bring their unique talents, experiences, and perspectives to the schoolhouse and classrooms each day.

They can inspire, challenge, and motivate young minds, shaping their views and attitudes and helping them reach their full potential.

Many educators find great fulfillment in seeing their students succeed and knowing they played a role in that success.

When students achieve their goals, it is a testament to their teachers’ hard work, dedication, and care.

Educators have the privilege of witnessing firsthand the growth and development of our children. They often feel a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to shape future generations, instilling values, knowledge, and skills that students will carry with them throughout their lives.

Seeing students grow, both academically and personally, is a great source of satisfaction.

Teachers take pride in their students’ achievements and feel gratified when they witness their development over time.

Their dedication extends far beyond the classroom walls. They are the coaches who inspire our children to reach their full athletic potential, the counselors who offer solace and guidance during times of difficulty, and the community leaders who tirelessly advocate for the well-being of our children.

But make no mistake about it, public school educators are thankful as well.

They appreciate the job security and benefits that come with their profession, including health insurance, retirement plans, and a stable income, not to mention the extended breaks in the fall, winter, and summer.

Teachers value the relationships they build with their students and colleagues. They cherish the collaboration with fellow educators and staff.

These connections can be profoundly rewarding, providing a sense of community, and belonging within the school.

Working together on projects and sharing ideas, strategies, and experiences with colleagues can enhance teaching practices and create a supportive professional community.

The knowledge, skills, and values educators impart to their students shape the future of our communities, our nation, and the world.

Public school educators deserve our most profound appreciation for their dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to the education and development of our youth.

They are the unsung heroes of our society, and we are forever grateful for their contributions.

So, to the dedicated public-school educators who tirelessly shape the minds and hearts of our future generations, a heartfelt thank you for your unwavering commitment to excellence.

You dedicate countless hours to lesson planning, providing extra support, and attending to the individual needs of each of your students.

You go above and beyond to ensure that every child feels valued, respected, and empowered to reach their full potential.

In a world that often underestimates the profound impact of education, you stand as beacons of hope and inspiration.

So, THANK YOU for your unwavering dedication, passion, and belief in the power of education.

You are the backbone of our society, and the driving force behind a brighter future for all.

We truly appreciate you…HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

(Follow me, TSD’s education columnist, on Twitter @curtisweathers. Email me at [email protected].)