Celebrating Our Teachers

Straight Talk with Sam

In my day, I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how easy it must be to be a teacher. I’ve heard it all—how short school days are, how great those long summer breaks must be, and how nice those benefits must be. Well, let me be the first to tell you, those people don’t have a clue.

There’s a lot more to being a teacher than meets the eye. It’s a tough job to start with. You have an entire classroom of children, most of whom don’t want to be there, and you must prepare them all to be the leaders of tomorrow. Every kid is different. No two learn the same.

Now you might think that challenge seems insurmountable, but then you have to take into consideration what else goes into the job. Those “long” summer breaks seem a lot shorter once they fill up with summer school, lesson planning, professional development, and preparing for the new school year. Those “short” school days start to drag out when you’re up past midnight grading papers.

It isn’t just time and effort that teachers put into the job, it’s their own money too. Many spend hundreds of dollars every year out of their own pocket buying supplies they need for their classrooms.

Pile on top of that all the challenges that have come with this pandemic. Imagine trying to teach math while making sure middle schoolers wear masks. Imagine consoling elementary students who lost a parent or grandparent while trying to teach them how to read. Imagine trying to juggle teaching students virtually and in person at the same time. It’s tough being a teacher to begin with, but this last year has been tougher than most.

That’s just a small glimpse at what it takes to be a great teacher, which we’re blessed with a whole lot of here in North Missouri. These educators truly dedicate their lives to ensuring our children get the education they need and deserve.

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week and, as I’ve done for many years, I introduced a resolution to thank the incredible teachers in our own community and across the country. All too often, being a teacher is a difficult, thankless job. We should all be grateful and thankful for everything they do for our communities. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of those who taught me.


Sam Graves