It’s the first full week of May, which means warmer weather, longer days, and the beginning of Teacher Appreciation Week!

While the immense worth of educators should be recognized every day of the year, it’s great to have a week set aside to remind everyone to stop and say thank you for all the sacrifices teachers make to help their students learn to the best of their abilities. After all, their work doesn’t end when the final bell rings or school is out for summer vacation. This Teacher Appreciation Day, take a moment to reflect on all the ways your teachers go above and beyond year-round — and make sure to voice your appreciation. Here are a few things teachers do that you may take for granted.

1. Showing Students They Can!

Teacher Appreciation WeekRemember when your math instructor first introduced algebra and you thought, “What? I can’t do this.”

Of course, your teacher knew that you could.

On top of their classroom lessons, educators prove each and every day — not just during Teacher Appreciation Week — that students are capable of anything with hard work, a positive mindset, and the proper support. Sometimes it doesn’t come easy — which is why teachers stay after school or give up their lunch period to help pupils who are struggling or need some extra practice.

And when you pass the test with flying colors, you can thank your teacher for knowing that you would all along.

2. Putting Your Work Before So Much Else

Believe it or not, teachers don’t crawl into a cave at the end of the school day only to re-emerge before homeroom the following day. They have friends, family, a social life, hobbies, and interests. However, those things often take a backseat to students.

Ask any teacher — they’ve often missed their favorite TV shows because they’re grading papers or skipped dinner with friends in favor of perfecting their lesson plan. And no matter what’s happening at home, they’re extremely dedicated to their job — and dedicate their lives to it with a smile.

3. Supporting Students’ Interests

Teacher Appreciation WeekIt’s not uncommon to see a teacher stop by their pupils’ basketball game on the weekend or come see the school play. That’s not because they don’t have anything else to do — it’s because they truly care about their students, even outside the classroom. Teachers are extremely proud to see their pupils succeed — yes, on tests, but also in sports, the arts, theater, leadership, and other elements of students’ lives.

4. Disciplining Pupils

No one enjoys getting sent to the principal’s office or sitting in detention after school hours. But guess what — teachers don’t like staying late or scolding their students either. However, they are dedicated to molding good citizens, and that includes setting clear expectations and helping students get back on track when they don’t meet them.

Kids who do whatever they want without any regard for the impact they are having on the people around them grow up to become entitled adults who have trouble being successful because of the collaborative nature of most work environments. Teachers don’t dole out punishment to make kids feel bad or embarrassed, but to simply let them know that actions have consequences — inside the classroom and out in the real world.

5. Doing This Job Out of Love

Teacher Appreciation WeekEveryone knows that teachers usually aren’t millionaires despite the importance of their work. In fact, many educators have to sustain second jobs to make ends meet — and it doesn’t help that sometimes they spend their own money on classroom supplies.

Teachers do this without asking for anything in return. They truly just want to create the best learning environment for their students — and that deserves endless acknowledgement and gratitude from students this Teacher Appreciation Week.

A simple “thank you” and a smile can warm a teacher’s heart. If you have a special educator who has really made an impact on you, go the extra mile during Teacher Appreciation Week with a thoughtful gift to let them know how much they mean to you.

Love STEMJobs?