My mother was a teacher at my high school. I know what comes to mind — some scene from 16 Candles of ultimate teenage embarrassment and disdain, but that’s not how I felt. Instead, I just never needed the, “Woah, my teacher is a person” realization when you finally see them out in the wild, like grocery shopping or at the mall. Although seeing my science teacher, Mrs. Smirkovski, at the movies on my 8th grade date was quite the shock to me, teachers were always people. People I loved.
This time of year is particularly busy for teachers, so the Green Apple Day of Service is a perfect opportunity to show your teachers that you care. I hope you will join me in making a simple, impactful commitment to the teachers in your life.
Here are some things you could do:
- Clean it up: Help a teacher dust and clean their classroom to reduce allergens and improve indoor air quality.
- Share the story: Donate a sustainability themed book to a classroom library (The Lorax, What Does It Mean to Be Green, etc.).
- Create signage: Create and share signage for the classroom about using less energy and water (this saves schools money, too!).
- Love of nature: Contribute to a classroom by donating a classroom plant or contributing to a school garden.
- School supplies: Donate environmentally responsible supplies such as FSC certified tissues or recycled paper.
What I’ve learned from the teachers in my life is that good teachers are always on the job. In addition to the long hours of daily preparation, lessons, and parent meetings, teachers carry their students’ stories, worries, joys, and challenges around with them all year.
A healthy, sustainable learning environment impacts students and teachers alike, and there is no better time to show your commitment to sustainability and the teachers in your life than showing you care. Be it a classroom or makeshift desks in a basement, where we learn matters.