This week we celebrate both Teacher Appreciation Week and Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week. It is a time of year for us to show our appreciation for everything our educators do for our students and the community.

It’s not often enough that we stop and reflect on what our teachers truly do for our students. On any given day, they are teachers, nurses, friends, therapists and so much more all rolled into one. Their job does not stop at simply providing lessons for students to learn academically, they are passionate individuals who want to see our students grow socially and emotionally as much as they want to see them achieve success in their learning.

It takes a very special person who has the ability to connect with children to be an educator. It takes patience and empathy to understand that students are fragile and often greatly impacted by the world around them — both inside and outside of school.

We are beyond grateful to know that our teachers and substitutes are the kind, caring and compassionate individuals who want only the best for our students. We cannot thank them enough for the patience and care they provide, and we know our families feel the same.

Please join us in thanking our teachers and substitutes this week. This does not have to be an elaborate gesture — a simple thank you will go a long way in letting them know they are valued. It’s the least we can do the for very important role they play in our community.

Tanya Ruder is chief communications officer for the Kenosha Unified School District.

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