Recognizing and appreciating Liberty staff

Rachel Matteson, News Editor

It’s that time of the year again! Staff Appreciation Week is just around the corner. Every year during the first week of May, certificated staff get their time to shine and be recognized for the work they do. The National Education Association (NEA) describes this week as “a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives.” 

The origin of this week started all the way back in 1944, when teacher Mattye White Woodridge wrote to politicians and expressed that she felt teachers needed a day to be appreciated. This idea was introduced to Congress a decade later by Eleanor Roosevelt, but it wasn’t until 1985 that teachers were officially granted an entire week in May to be appreciated. 

With its long history, teachers have been officially celebrated for almost 40 years. But how do staff at Liberty feel about it?

“Some students consistently make me feel appreciated when they lower their voices when I ask for their attention and by allowing us all to have respectful conversations,” English teacher Raquel Montoya said. 

Based on survey data responses from teachers, other ways students have make them feel appreciated is by helping put supplies away, saying thank you, and commenting on how much they like a class. Some even felt that simply saying hello and goodbye is a personable way for students to show their appreciation for teachers. 

On the other hand, not all staff can happily say that they always feel appreciated. Only 44.4% of teachers said they feel appreciated by students most of the time. On the other hand, 13.3% of teachers noted that administration appreciation was the most lacking. Many teachers expressed that if admin put more effort into genuine acts of kindness, it would make them feel valued and recognized. 

Despite some criticisms towards administration, there is one thing that many teachers can agree on when it comes to staff appreciation.

It seems that appreciation at Liberty can simply mean food or a meal,” English teacher Julie Larsen said. “I also love the staff appreciation luncheons, it’s something that can bring us all together”