Much like everything else during this Pandemic, the traditional role of the teacher is morphing into something new and unexpected. Like the pioneers of old, they’re forging the way through frontiers both exciting and scary, while being expected to lead our children on a journey through uncharted territory.
Whether you are for or against the concept of virtual schooling, the fact is, it’s here and many teachers are put in a position to have to choose between getting on board the wagon train or getting off.
I recently witnessed this transition firsthand, through my sister’s experience, as she struggled to learn how to download, set up, and communicate with her students through new apps.
Aside from her general frustration over having to quickly develop a whole new strategy to reach her students, she felt the pressure of being expected to show her students’ positive achievements. Balancing this with the realization that she has no power in getting the children to comply, left her feeling helpless and concerned for the well-being of her students.
Sadly, this new reality is not without unexpected victims.
I happen to have several friends who’ve spent their entire careers in the classroom, enjoying the hands-on personal relationships they’ve developed with their students. Much to my surprise, many of them decided to retire early, as the strain of learning a whole new system and the lack of personal connection with their students has left them feeling exhausted and unfulfilled.
Sadly, with no immediate end to the Pandemic in sight, they must leave without saying goodbye in person or enjoying a well-deserved retirement party. Suffice it to say, it was their life’s passion and now it’s over too soon.
This is the kind of passion that inspired me to write my retirement blessings. When I wrote “A Teacher’s Retirement Blessing,” it came from a place of gratitude for the many teachers that nurtured my own two children over the years.
When my Bonnie Rose had to switch to “home schooling” during her chemo treatments, her teachers came to our home! A far cry from the current concept of home schooling. And oddly enough, every one of my son’s grade-school teachers happened to attend the same church we did, so it was as if my children enjoyed the security of extended family while going to school each day over the years.
What a blessing it’s been.
Now, my goal is to give both the recipient and the gift-giver an experience that will fulfill and inspire them.
Ideally, receiving a personalized teacher retirement gift as they prepare to leave behind dear friends they’ve come to know, will soften the impact and speak to their heart. It will let them know how grateful so many are for their dedication and deep devotion. And most importantly, it will let them know what a positive influence they have had on their students’ lives.
Hopefully, my teacher retirement gifts encourage them to trust that the seeds they planted in each student will continue to grow through adulthood.
I like to say, “Be a blessing, give a blessing!” Because when someone gives a Purple Wishing Gate blessing, a portion of that sale goes directly to help children with cancer – in memory of my Bonnie Rose.
So, as we struggle to get back to school – whatever that looks like for you – know that Purple Wishing Gate is here for you. Whether you know a teacher who is retiring, a young teacher starting out, or one who is getting back on the wagon train this year, consider sending them one of my unique teacher gifts. A “no-contact” gift of appreciation at a time when they could use a little extra love and encouragement!
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