It’s Teacher Appreciation Week — an important reminder to take a moment and send a thank-you to your friends and colleagues who teach. It’s arguably one of the most important jobs — educating and training the next generation — and too often, we’re caught up in the debate around standards, assessments, and accountability to appreciate the hard work that takes place in thousands of classrooms across the country every day.

Like Dwight Davis, a teacher leader at D.C.’s Wheatley Education Campus, says, some new teachers don’t quite fully realize the talent and training necessary to balance and diversify instruction, day-in and day-out. “Most surprising has been my teacher candidates’ realization of the difficulty of teaching. It is almost as if they believe they are going to eliminate all of the effects of poverty, illiteracy, and social/emotional trauma in one academic year without any problems or difficulty,” says Davis, a Teach Plus fellow who participated in Ed Trust’s recent teacher prep briefing on Capitol Hill. “Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions on the planet; that being said, it is also one of the most grueling. Great teaching isn’t one application, and all the woes are fixed. Great teaching requires successive applications of great teaching. I wish more people understood and appreciated how demanding great teaching is — and forever will be.”

We do, too. Thank you, Dwight, and all of the thousands of teachers like you.

Written by Ed Trust staff.