Teacher Appreciation: How Important Is It?


Mrs. McLeland, one of the 3-4 Spanish Teachers, represents someone who is allows students to feel comfortable and less stressed even when school and life is out of control. Her ability to be welcoming and kind no matter are some of her best qualities. Thank you Mrs. McLeland for all that you have done for many students around campus.

Bella Slattery, Staff Writer

Teacher Appreciation Week is a time when students can celebrate certain teachers who have helped them throughout the years and create an environment in their class where students feel comfortable. Little do some teachers know how their actions can either make or break a student’s day. 

Teachers have a big impact on students because they spend 5 out of the 7 days of their week in their classrooms. Whether a teacher is encouraging and supportive or disconfirming and careless. Frontiers, a site that explains student psychology, states that “many empirical studies have shown that teacher support was significantly positively correlated with positive academic emotions (PAEs; e.g., enjoyment, interest, hope, pride, and relief) and significantly negatively correlated with negative academic emotions (NAEs; anxiety, depression, shame, anger, worry, boredom, and hopelessness).” Teachers play an important role in how students perform in school. Teachers who try and encourage their students with misplaced “constructive criticism” really just diminish their students with judgment leading to fear and hopelessness. 

A specific teacher who is known around campus as a teacher who is welcoming and allows her students to feel comfortable is Davina McLeland, one of the 1-2 and 3-4 Spanish teachers. She makes her classroom congenial by putting a couch right by her desk and after school, her door is always open to people who want to come in and wait for their ride or need to vent about something that is happening in their lives. When asked what she does to make students more comfortable in a busying learning environment she explains that she ”comes from a mothering spirit but I also try and get to know my students and try to make them feel more welcome.” Mrs. McLeland feels that being welcoming with open arms allows students to feel safe and appreciated, which leads to students being more open to learning. 

Students have an easier time learning in a space where they feel comfortable and are not judged by their teacher if they did something wrong. Spaces4Learning, a site explaining how classrooms affect students’ work habits, explains that “when students are physically comfortable, they’re more at ease: They can relax, block out negative thoughts and focus more effectively on instruction. This is especially true for students who have anxiety.” Allowing students to feel at ease and safely help them complete their work. Hyaven Lick, a sophomore who is a student of Mrs. McLeland’s explains how “she is always willing to break things down and help you with anything that you need.” If anyone is struggling in class, Mrs. McLeland makes an effort to help her students understand because she knows that the couple of extra minutes she spends explaining will benefit the students in the long run. 

Teachers who make an effort to help students feel seen and heard are influential and can help students build the confidence that they do not have. Thank you to all of the teachers who bring smiles to students’ faces and make them feel appreciated and smart even when they are doubting themselves.