Many of you know that I am a high school science teacher, so obviously you know that my income is not six figures and that I sacrifice far more of my own salary to fuel the needs of my classroom and students rather then spending it on my own families needs. I commute almost an hour to work each day and I need a vehicle that is reliable from a brand that I trust. When I was notified about Chevrolet’s Educator Discount I was elated and could not wait to share it with my fellow educators & support staff.
The state of education currently is pretty dismal. We are at the forefront of budget cuts, bond and mill levys are not being funded nationwide and the people that feel the effects most are the students and teachers. We are under-appreciated and the current evaluation system being implemented in many states is now saying that we need to prove that we are good educators through testing that many students do not buy into. It can be a very overwhelming career path to take and those of us that do, do it because we have a passion and a drive to guide students into the future to be better humans, with the hope they learn something about Math, Science, English and Social Studies.
I, for example, have taught for 6 years. My first teaching assignment was in the worst school and district in the state where it was commonplace for drugs, fights and lockdowns. I worked tirelessly to take my students, who many people had written off, and turn them into functioning members of society. My students were pulling in the highest grades, had positive attitudes and were engaging with the material like no ones business. My students were successful. This was due to ridiculous amounts of hours that me and my teaching colleagues were putting in outside of our regular 40- hour work week to create dynamic, engaging, scaffolded lessons for our unique group of students.
When I transferred to my current school that work didn’t stop. Although the groups of students I work with now are far less risky, they are still in need of help. I am not only a teacher to these kids; I am their mentor, counselor, and sometimes parent. I give these kids everything that I have and work through lunches and past the final bell (of which I am not compensated for, but I do because my students need that) to provide a learning experience, not just an education. I have not met an educator yet that works only 40 hours a week. My work (just like most people in education) can easily cut into my time with my family. I give these kids my all and do this because I know the difference that quality teachers make on our future. Educators are important, we are the driving force to our future generations and many times we spend more time with your children then you do. I understand my impact and I work diligently to make sure that my students are good humans with opinions, knowledge and compassion.
As a high school teacher we do not get very many “thank yous.” There are no school parties for holidays where each kids give a card or a little trinket. My high school kids do not walk out after my lessons thanking me daily for staying up till 2:00am and making these cool lessons. I might get one or two here and there, but they are so caught up in the drama of life and high school that for many just getting to class and doing the work is all the effort they can give and they just forget or don’t know that I put my everything into making their learning experience valuable and fun. I do not fault my students for this, and I never would. I do not expect “thank yous”; just respect, which is exactly what my students give me. However, there have been those occasions where I have received some pretty great mementos of appreciation. I thought I would share those with you guys and give you some ideas on how to thank and educator, that are inexpensive and truly mean the world to us.
- A simple thank you email or phone call: I probably receive one of these every few weeks and many times they arrive on a particularly rough day. It is literally just the words I need to hear.
- A $5.00 coffee gift card: There are days that coffee is necessary (like today, when I have stayed up till 3:00 am creating the coolest project for my kids and have to leave my house at 6:00 am to get to work). I do not make a whole bunch of money, gourmet coffee is a splurge and many times I just cannot justify it. You have no clue how awesome it is when I get a little gift card to treat myself, especially on “those” days.
- A good word to my principal: One of the most memorable “thank you’s” that I received was after my first parent/teacher conferences. My boss sought me out to tell me that she had a few parents come tell her what a difference I was making in their student and that I was the best thing to happen to their kid. I cried…like a baby.
- A handwritten note from a student: I love these. I keep every single one of these, and on rough days, I read them. It means SO much coming from my students. My school does these little thank you cards periodically from students and it really raises the moral. Consider having your student write a simple card or note to their teacher to remind us of why we give our all to a system that does not care one bit about us.
Chevrolet has a huge way to thank all educators in the field (including support staff!) and it is available until September 2015. Chevrolet’s Educator Discount is their way of telling us thank you and helping to provide us with reliable, safe vehicles to get us to work and to your students so that we can continue to make a difference. I drive a Chevy and probably always will. Their customer service and vehicles are hard to compete with and the luxury that I get for the price is unbeatable.
Jason and I are looking for a new vehicle. My current car is getting up there in miles (hello 230,000 miles) and we need something a bit larger for my husband to commute in but also be able to fit car seats in comfortably. We have been researching the Chevy Equinox and the Chevy Malibu as possibly options. Both of these are perfect vehicles to use Chevrolet’s Educator Discount on! We are split between them as they both come with 4G LTE Wi-fi, they are both fuel efficient and stylish. We are hoping that after the holiday’s we can head over to our local Chevy dealership and test drive them to see which one best fits us!
If you are part of education, know an educator or just want to spread the word, make sure to check out Chevrolet’s Educator Discount and tell me how you would thank a teacher.