Teacher appreciation week is not until the first week of May, but some students are already showing their gratitude. On Feb. seventh, the varsity basketball teams honored their teachers by hosting a staff coffee in the media center.
Staff members arrived in the morning and were greeted by members of the varsity teams alongside a spread of donuts and other items. The event was hosted for around an hour before teachers returned to their classes.
Brittini Martin, a senior and a member of the girl’s varsity basketball team, had the opportunity to connect with teachers at the event, as did the other players.
“We see these teachers every day, and they do have such a strong impact on our lives,” Martin said. “Some teachers genuinely care for our well-being and our performance, inside and outside of class.”
The basketball teams also honored their staff at a doubleheader later that night, in which both teams played against Northwest High School. Students from WCHS’s elementary and middle schools were invited to attend– and both teams won their games.
“I feel great to be able to give back and show appreciation,” Martin said. “I don’t think we do that enough, for what teachers do for us.”
Faculty members at the event also expressed their gratitude for being able to attend the event. Media specialist Paige Pagley was able to have conversations with the players and noted the importance of building these relationships.
“It’s important to connect with [the students] because they’re people, and we all want human connection,” Pagley said. “We all want to feel liked, and appreciated, and wanted and respected.”
These types of events are not only positive experiences for the students but the teachers as well. According to an Aug. 2013 EdTech Magazine article, beyond the normal eight hours in the classroom, teachers may spend an additional four to six hours helping students, grading papers or planning lessons. Staff appreciation events help to reduce some of this stress.
“It feels wonderful,” Pagley said. “I’m having such a great time talking to the girls and getting to know them, and it makes me so excited to go watch them play.”
Sometimes, a little can go a long way, especially when it comes to expressing gratitude and appreciation. Small actions can sometimes be more impactful than large events and parties. Students can honor their teachers everyday, simply by reminding them how fortunate they are to have teachers who care.
“Simple thank-yous after class, I think, are helpful,” Martin said. “You don’t have to do anything big, but just telling your teacher thank you for all you do.”