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Dear Maine Public School Teachers

Dear Maine Public School Teachers:

Yesterday, I received your "report cards" along with the multiple corrected papers, spelling tests, reading assignments and projects. I have spent years now watching and listening to my children as they have learned to read, write, draw, play, solve problems, make friends, succeed, grow, add, subtract, multiply and so on. My kids are amazing young humans, and that is NOT just because of good parenting. My children’s teachers have been a huge factor in their growth and development thus far. YOU spend more time during the day teaching, caring for and loving our children than anyone, and it shows. And it goes beyond math and science, and the subjects that show up on our kid’s report cards.

Way beyond.

I have seen teachers buy coats for kids who can't afford them. I know that you buy extra snacks, sweatshirts and even shoes for some who go without. You purchase supplies with your own money. You recruit help for families who have suffered tragedy. You spend your evenings and weekends preparing, correcting, and thinking about your students as well as your own families. Teachers have emailed me at night because of something that happened during the day that wasn't quite right. Every year, you give these kids a gift. For some, it is the only love they get. For some, school is the only place where they feel safe. It is more than just reading and math.

I know our schools aren't perfect, and improvements can always be made. But to receive a letter grade based on such minimal parameters, and deliver THAT as public knowledge is shameful, and frankly an insult to our dedicated teachers. Where do I send this report card back with comments, or to request a meeting?

All of our teachers should be applauded publicly, every day. And THANKED for the incredible amount of work they do every day. You want to give the schools a letter grade? Ask the parents. Ask the families. Ask the girl whose teachers came together to get her ready for prom. Go ahead. Ask.

Of course the measures and standards are important. Of course we need to know where our students stack up academically. But let’s not forget the other factors, and make sure all of the teachers and administrators know how much their “behind the scenes” work is appreciated.

So, from a parent of three children that are growing and learning every day in RSU 73, I say, Thank You. You get an A+.

Kristen Guay
(Posted with permission by author)

MEA Benefits Trust

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