May 2nd through 6th is recognized by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board as Education Week, often referred to as Teacher Appreciation Week elsewhere in the world. Over the past few years, with countless sudden changes to school operations, it’s fair to say that our teachers deserve some appreciation. I recently spoke with a few of Nepean’s many wonderful teachers, to learn what drew them to this profession, and what inspires them as educators.
First, I talked with Mrs. Hunter, who has been teaching music and English at NHS for the past two and a half years. When asked why she chose teaching, she told me, “The music room was my home away from home, my music teacher always made space for me and I wanted to do the same thing for other kids.” This energy put in by teachers to make their students feel welcome is incredibly important and often under-recognized.
When I spoke to Mr. Bonnell, who has been teaching chemistry and general science at Nepean for three years, he described why events like Teacher Appreciation Week are so important — especially during the pandemic. “In Covid, it's difficult for people to know if they’re making a difference. Teacher Appreciation Week goes a long way in reminding all teachers they’re all doing a great job.” As many teachers have spent much of the past few years talking to blank screens and masked faces, it’s all the more valuable to be able to receive some demonstration of appreciation for the hard work they put into it.
Just as we, the students, appreciate teachers’ work, they too appreciate the students’ contributions to a school day. Ms. Amimi, who has been teaching math at Nepean for 18 years, said, “I find it great that the kids here are so kind and respectful, and the fact that this school is a diverse school.” Just as it is up to the teacher to create a healthy learning environment, it is as well up to the students. This is something that the NHS community manages quite well, as many teachers have expressed.
Students should always show a little appreciation for their hard-working, passionate teachers. As Mrs. Moore, a Nepean English teacher of 16 years puts it: “One of the best things about being a teacher is: everyday is different.” We, the students, can make any teacher’s day different with a simple ‘thank you’ for all their efforts. Despite Teacher Appreciation Week coming to a close, teachers continue to work hard to educate the youth of today, and deserve far more recognition for their work.