COMMENTARY: This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. We have wonderful teachers and education employees! We need to celebrate the incredible teaching happening all over New Mexico.
New Mexico has more students graduating and better test results — thanks to teachers!
Every day, teachers give of themselves and their small paychecks. Gena in the South Valley supplies snacks and fruit so her students are not hungry. Sylvia in Las Cruces helps students learn English. Rosemary in Carlsbad helps families find food and homes and clothing for school — and still has time to teach her students during the day. Laura in Valencia County teaches reading and math skills to students who also need hugs and extra food. Tarla in the valley works with the whole child and encourages 4-H activities and sports.
These teachers work every day to improve the lives and skills of their students. I appreciate each of you, and that is why I am proud to serve as president of NEA-New Mexico, the voice of educators statewide!
Thank you to the teachers who teach my grandchildren in Rio Rancho and Las Cruces. Teachers plan, create and teach. Now we need to respect them and the job they are doing. Education employees hold our future in their hands — bus drivers who see students first, cafeteria workers who feed them when they get to school, custodians who clean up after them and say hello in the mornings, and teachers who take every child and turn the day into productive learning no matter how it started.
Say thank you to teachers this week and every day. Respect and applaud them and spread the word that they are doing a great job!
Betty Patterson is the president of the National Education Association-New Mexico.