Hug and thank a teacher or principal today

Teachers & Principals | 01/27/2016

Justin Ohlemiller
Executive Director

Justin Ohlemiller is the Executive Director of Stand for Children Indiana.

In my role, I've been blessed to see firsthand the dedication and love educators bring to their work every day.  There is nothing more uplifting than seeing a great teacher or principal connect with students and inspire them to find greatness within themselves. Simply put, educators perform miracles in the most important profession in our society. 

The tragedy in Lawrence Township this week made my deep appreciation for educators reach new levels. Prior to the death of Principal Susan Jordan, I thought I recognized the sacrifices principals and teachers make -- from the fact they get paid a fraction of professionals in other sectors to the long hours they put in every day. But the actions of Principal Jordan should remind us all that the commitment the overwhelming majority of educators have to their professions and to their students runs so much deeper.

As parents, we entrust our most precious possessions, our children, to the leaders of our schools every day, expecting teachers and principals to, first and foremost, keep them safe and healthy. And these educators proudly and selflessly take on that responsibility. It's an unspoken covenant that exists between families and educators--and one that is too often overlooked. That is until something horrific happens like the Sandy Hook shooting or the heroic actions by a legendary principal in Lawrence Township.  

It should not take the death of Principal Jordan to force us to acknowledge an educator's "never ending job to protect," as one teacher explained it to me this week. But as human nature has it, we often don't slow down enough in our lives to appreciate the everyday people who make such a difference -- especially principals and teachers. So let's not miss this opportunity to force ourselves to slow down and, in honor of Susan Jordan, show appreciation for the educators in our lives. 

If you're a parent, stop by your school and make it a point to go to your child's class and thank their teacher. Give that teacher a hug, and if nothing else, tell them you appreciate their willingness to be a protector of your child. If you're a taxpayer, but don't have kids in school, write a brief thank you note and drop it off at your local school. And if you're a lawmaker or leader in our city and state, double down on your commitment to thank educators by asking yourself what you can do to support teachers and ensure our society treats them in ways consistent with performing the most important job in our community.

If you need any more convincing as to why we all need to take the time to share our appreciation with teachers and principals, just consider this:

There are at least a few parents of Amy Beverland Elementary students who got to hug and hold their children on Tuesday night, all because of Susan Jordan and her unwavering commitment to give her life to protect kids at all costs. 

Educators should never, ever have to make that kind of sacrifice. But let us never forget, and always appreciate, the fact that our educators are willing to make that sacrifice.     

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  • That is someone who really puts Pal in principal.... Sad for her family but it looks like she was liked by many...

    January 27, 2016 4:25 PM

  • I love that first line! Thanks for taking the time to write and share your thoughts.

    January 27, 2016 5:41 PM

  • Thank you so much for this article! I have been a teacher for 16 years and am amazed by the love shown and sacrifices made by teachers every single day!
    Bridgett Dailey

    January 27, 2016 5:37 PM

  • Bridgett, thank you so much for all you do!

    January 27, 2016 5:40 PM

  • Susan Jordan will be missed. Awesome awesome administrator.
    Theressa Taylor

    January 27, 2016 5:48 PM

  • Everyone is saying such wonderful things about her. Thanks for letting us know that.

    January 27, 2016 5:51 PM

  • Father we lift up this principal family before in the lost of their love one . What do we say in times like these? We cannot seem to be able to quite put it into words . What a sad story but yet she died doing what she has been committed to for the past twenty something years caring for the lives of the children in her school as a principal . She put her life in harms way to save the life of the children who could of lost their lives with the school bus going out of control . Lord we pray that her love and commitment to her job and the children at her school will live on in the lives of those who knew her best. Rip to such a beautiful soul.
    Dawn Cudjoe .

    January 27, 2016 6:21 PM

  • Dawn, thank you for the prayers.

    January 27, 2016 6:29 PM

  • Thank you.
    Carol Mills

    January 27, 2016 7:32 PM

  • We appreciate the feedback!

    January 28, 2016 7:59 AM

  • What a wonderful article...and spot on. As the daughter of a retired teacher, I can attest to the dedication and loyalty teachers have toward their students as well as the time and sacrifice they put in. There is a special place in Heaven for teachers - and Susan Jordan will now be there to lead it with the same compassion she led Amy Beverland with. Thank you for this article.
    Monica Riley.

    January 27, 2016 8:00 PM

  • Thank you for sharing, Monica!

    January 28, 2016 7:58 AM

  • Beautiful!!!!
    Teyaqua Davis

    January 27, 2016 9:53 PM

  • Thank you!

    January 28, 2016 8:00 AM

  • I never met this principal .but she is a hero. She put there lifes in front of her own .God bless this family . and from the comments. .she was liked by many .
    Donna garbison

    January 28, 2016 3:17 PM

  • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Donna!

    January 29, 2016 7:13 AM