There are things in life that all of us take largely, if not entirely, for granted. When is the last time, for example, that you spared a deep thought for the truly amazing phenomenon of enjoying a few hearty swallows of cold water straight from the tap or drinking fountain? Lots of people sleep comfortably in a bed every night, but how often do most of us take any action that recognizes what an incredible privilege it is to be cozy and secure in our repose?
One of the most important things that most of us probably don't think too hard about, except maybe to complain when we notice the percentage of various routine taxes that support it, is the genuine miracle of public education. The knowledge, skills, and social acclimation that we get as the recipient of a standard K-12 learning experience forms the basis of nearly every aspect of productive adult learning and living. It all starts in those childhood classrooms.
And the drivers of that incredible engine are the men and women who choose teaching as their profession, many remaining in the classroom across the breadth of their entire adult lives. They are generally overworked and underpaid, experiencing both conditions to a degree that few workers in any other profession would routinely tolerate. And the degree of respect and appreciation for what they accomplish, sometimes even from the students they teach, is often mild to nonexistent.
All of this is to introduce the fact that this week, May 6-10, is Teacher Appreciation Week here in the United States. When you think about it, we shouldn't need a formal arrangement to remind us of the importance of teachers. If there were no Teacher Appreciation Week, on the other hand, how many of us would remember to take some kind action that expresses our gratitude to the tireless individuals whose work shapes the character and outlook of the next generation.
Most of us got our first real exposure to computers and technology somewhere along the course of our journey from the first week of kindergarten to high school graduation. If you're still in contact with a teacher who nurtured your interest in IT, then take a moment to reach out this week. If you're not, then there's probably a teacher who's important in your life, or the life of someone you love, right now. Do something this week to show your appreciation.