Now more than ever, teachers deserve our appreciation

Teaching is a profession that is like none other. It takes great patience, excellent interpersonal skills, deep content knowledge and a lot of energy to manage a classroom and meaningfully engage with students and families.

This week is National Teacher Appreciation week, and I invite you to join me in celebrating the teachers we have in San Francisco public schools –– not only this week –– but all year long.

Teachers are masterful at both teaching and learning, constantly growing and evolving as professionals. They handle challenges with grace and joy, committed to having a positive impact on their students’ lives.

We are living through a moment in history with challenges we have never faced before, and teachers are continuing to inspire us with their creativity and resilience. Our teachers are transforming their practices to reach students while school buildings are closed and learning is taking place remotely. They are finding ways to connect with students despite numerous obstacles, and continuing to guide our children through difficult experiences.

Teacher Appreciation Week is a chance for us to reflect on what more we can do to support our educators right here in San Francisco. Here are a few ways:

Vote: Support state, local and national policies and elect officials that have a plan for funding public education needs. For example, the November election will include a measure to reform California’s Proposition 13 that is estimated to generate $10-$12 billion per year for K-12 schools, community colleges, and local governments.

Donate: You can donate to fund projects designed by SFUSD teachers through DonorsChoose. Your donations directly impact a teacher’s ability to create transformative experiences for their students.

Share: Who were the teachers who made an impact on your life? What are some ways you can share your gratitude? Talk with your family, friends and coworkers about you or your children’s SFUSD teachers, and share your stories on social media using the hashtag #SFLovesTeachers

To all San Francisco teachers I want to say: thank you for your commitment to our students every day and especially in the hardest of times. Thank you for bringing your professional and personal best to ensure each and every student receives the quality instruction and equitable support required to thrive in the 21st century.

Check out what some of our community members have to say about SFUSD teachers.

Vincent Matthews is the superintendent of schools for the San Francisco Unified School District. He is a guest columnist.

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