Monday, August 26, 2013

High Five a Teacher Today

It is back to school time, which also means that I will not see my husband for another 3 or 4 months.
I love seeing people post pictures of their kids with excited grins, embarking on the first day of school.  I wish I could post a picture of my husband, who is equally as excited, but he was gone before I was awake. I have had the opportunity of witnessing greatness behind the scenes.  It is a gift to watch anyone who is completely aligned with their life's purpose.

We recently had dinner at a friends house and he told us a scary statistic he had read.  The average amount of 1 on 1 time a father spends with his child per week is seven minutes.  Seven minutes.
I don't know the details of the statistic, but it didn't come as a surprise to Don as much as it did me.
Our boys are Don's muses.   I think he sets things up in the house just to see how they react to it.  When he was gone this summer he gave our oldest the job of watering our tomatoes.  At the time they were just little seeds.  Each day he would call in, Parker would report on the progress of the tomatoes.  The sun was scorching them so he had to come up with a solution for that.  When the vines got to high he had to come up with a solution for that. When the chipmunks started eating them, he had to come up with a solution for that. Our small tomato garden looks like a junk yard. With homemade shades and stakes made out of our old wood floor and a chipmunk scarecrow made from his brother's hulk pez dispenser.  Even from across the country Don put in his seven minutes, and the truth is, in the past he probably picked up the slack for many fathers who, some haven't seen their kids in years.

In the weeks before school starts I know I won't see my husband.  He spends hours setting up his classroom, preparing his lessons and trying to get his classroom perfect for each of his students to be inspired to explore and learn. Last night he was at school until midnight, and this morning he was up with the alarm raring to go right back.

People idolize celebrities and view their life of money and the pinnacle of life success.  Once in awhile someone will thank a teacher, but our society is also quick to blame one.
When I hear someone mention how much money (or lack there of) my husband makes it makes me laugh. There are few careers that people openly feel free to discuss the salary.  What people don't realize is that we feel rich.  Some wives would get upset with their husbands spending half of his paycheck at one store but I know its for his "other" kids.

We make it work, we have everything we need.  More importantly I have a husband who is happy.
Between the two of us we have four jobs. But they are each things we really enjoy doing.  If we had careers that made more money, we might not have discovered our different passions.
Our boys want for nothing.  I want for nothing. ( Well, I did, but then I finally got my VitaMix).  When Don taught at a different school he would give some kids shoes ours had outgrown, or jackets in the winter.  He even bought a student a pair of glasses because his were being held together by paperclips and tape. We are grateful to be able to help them.

Another reason we don't want for anything is the generosity that is given back to us.  Parents have been extremely generous.   We have been given gift cards allowing us to eat at restaurants all year long, frequent flyer miles, enough coffee mugs to open a cafe and enough Red Sox t-shirts to open a gift shop.  Not to mention a few extra pounds around the holidays because the gift of chocolate keeps on giving. No wonder the boys want for nothing.

When your child goes back to school, just remember that their teacher may be just as excited as they are.  Don't pity a teacher for their lack of compensation.  The good ones didn't chose this career path because of the monetary value, but more the value of influencing the next generation.

You may hear women say they want to marry a rich CEO or a physician or famous actor. That is fine with me, because I married a teacher and we are doing more than just fine.

But really, the best gift you can give to your child's teacher is respect and confidence that they know what they are doing.  And maybe a high five when you see them. That is teacher language that they are doing a good job.


  1. He has given his students the love of learning - I know, because he gave mine it. He is an awesome teacher and we are blessed he is teaching our daughter this year. So thanks Don, from the bottom of our hearts. Please remember this endearing thank you when she talks incessantly about nothing.

  2. Don is a good teacher. He is very passionate in his work and wants everyone of his students to do the best for themselves. He is also a good husband, and Father and son-in-law. We are fortunate and proud to have him in our family. Nancy Gunn