Kudos to educators

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It’s the busy month of May and we are enjoying every minute of it. This week, we are celebrating how much we appreciate all the teachers who educate our four children. 

Our children are all spaced about two years apart from one another. We have two daughters in two different high schools, and our sons are in middle school and elementary school. Each of our children has a different favorite subject, not to exclude recess. I love how over the years each of them has designated a different favorite teacher. 

There are only a couple of teachers from the earlier grades who had all four of our students in their classes. I refer to these people as having had the superfecta. If someone has had at least three of them, they are in the trifecta. We are coming off the Kentucky Derby, so hopefully, you can appreciate the horse racing terminology. Getting a child through the education system sometimes feels like running a big race, trying to check all the graduation requirements along the way.

This year, I sent some goodies to both boys’ schools for their teachers to enjoy. A friend of mine enlisted the help of several ninth-grade parents to host something special every day at our local high school. It always amazes me how a group of mothers can quickly assess a need and create a five-page plan on how to execute an event or meal via text message. 

In a carefully communicated text thread, one mom coordinated 13 parents to pull off breakfast, two lunches, a cookie break and favorite drink drop offs. One mother created themed signage to put up in the teacher’s break room for every day this week. One mother found tablecloths and paper goods to stock up for easy clean ups. It was easy to pick a day with a few parents and divide and conquer.

On Tuesday, during Teacher Appreciation Week, it was my job to drop off pizza and sheet cakes. We live in a rural area, so you must drive into “town” to get pizza picked up. One of the moms in my group had a discount card that gave us a “buy one, get one” deal. One grandmother stepped up and made a generous donation. Another couple of mothers made sure we had drinks, salad and veggies to complement the meal. 

I waited patiently for the pizza restaurant to open that morning and placed our very large order one minute after the clock struck 10 a.m. I had spent the evening before baking and frosting my favorite Texas chocolate sheet cake recipe to have two cakes to feed 50 people. It was hard not to help myself to a slice. This is my great aunt’s special recipe; it is always a hit. When the pizzas were ready, I ran into town and picked them up. I stacked them up in my backseat and used the seat belts to keep them from slinging around while I quickly drove them to the high school. 

Our teachers work hard to make sure our students are learning to read, write and do math. I am so thankful how each teacher our family has had this year has continued to pour into our students. May is a busy month for school, teacher appreciation, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day too. There are so many we encounter doing life, and I appreciate them so much. And my car still smells like pizza just a few days later, neighbor.

Jody Harris is a freelance communications specialist, gardener, ranch wife and mother of four. She and her family raise Angus beef cattle and other critters on their northwest Arkansas ranch. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Jody, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’

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