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National Teacher Appreciation Week 2023

One look around the country will easily remind someone how important education is and how valuable our teachers are. Teaching students truth and supporting the whole child seems straightforward to educators like us, but is a hotly contested debate currently raging throughout the nation. One former federal official went so far as to call AFT President Randi Weingarten, the most dangerous person in the world. These types of attacks on teachers don’t help students learn or teachers teach.

Here in Maryland, we may not be faced with the same challenges peers across the country face, but educators still have an uphill battle every day. While ensuring the basics, such as reading, writing, and arithmetic are taught, we also have to contend with the unique challenges that face our students. We deal with students suffering from food insecurity, housing instability, and the soul crushing trauma of communal violence. It is difficult to expect students to learn music theory, or career and technical skills when a close loved one of theirs was a victim of violence. It is nearly impossible to get a student to focus on sounding out phonics when they are not certain they will have lights to read under when they go home. 

That’s why it is important to pause and celebrate ourselves and one another. AFT-Maryland is appreciative of every educator who over the past few years demonstrated their versatility in moving from virtual, to hybrid, and back to in-person learning. We modeled an adaptability and flexibility that our students can be proud of. We displayed resilience. As we finish this school year, I am encouraged by the examples of excellence that you all represent. 

Regardless of the national chatter around education, we commit to our students each day and they return that energy to us in a special bond that only a teacher and student know. No matter what those who have not walked in our shoes may say, know that on behalf of an entire state federation, I am proud to be a teacher and walk side by side with you in solidarity.

Thank you for all that you do, and Happy Teachers Appreciation Week!


Cover photo credit: Christina @ on Unsplash.


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