February 9 to 15th is Staff and Teacher Appreciation Week in Saskatchewan and, though an educator myself, I want to take a moment to tip my hat to those who devote their lives to children and youth in our school buildings in La Loche. I have the privilege of working in both buildings and I get to see the best of both the High School end and the Elementary end. I have to say, I am repeatedly humbled by how hard my colleagues work day in and day out; they are truly people who care for the children and youth in their care and routinely go the extra mile for the benefit of the children and ultimately the community.
I see teachers and support staff giving up weekends, and evenings to extra-curricular activities. Unfortunately, there are some people who think it is the job of a staff member to give up their free time to do these things without pay! It is not required, but staff routinely do it because they care and they do it despite the fact that they also have family commitments to honour, and preparation work for school to get done. I know many of my colleagues feel beat up from time to time for the criticism they receive from the general public who think their job is an easy one, who think they could do it better, or simply don't appreciate the commitment required of our teachers and staff. However, we carry on because of the kindness of those we regularly interact with; from the friendly wave we get when we drive by to the greetings we get from the public when we are out and about living our lives, and yes, from the thanks we routinely get from those that understand just how much we give just for the satisfaction of doing something good for children and youth.
I personally want to thank the staff of La Loche Community School for their dedication and commitment to improving education and the lives of our students. I want you to know you are a credit to the teaching profession and that is an honour to work with you each and everyday. I hope at least one member of the general public "bumps" into you this week and says, "Thank you for all you do at school." You deserve to be recognized for a job well done. I hope over our winter break next week you take a moment and reflect on what you have done that matters; I think you will agree what you have taught doesn't matter nearly as much as how much you have done to improve the lives of the students you interact with regularly. From the comforting of upset students, to the cheer leading from the sidelines, to the pushing of children and youth to do their very best, you are making a difference every single day. Pat yourself on the back, and know to our children and youth, you are making a difference each and every day. Thanks staff and teachers; you make me proud every single day!