In Appreciation of All Teachers
By Mary Lynn Fayoumi, CAE, SPHR, GPHR, President & CEO
Published May 16, 2017
Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week. I’m sure many of you delivered treats or thank you notes to schools to show your gratitude to educators who work tirelessly to improve the lives of your children. I was raised by teachers and am admittedly biased towards those in the profession. Much of my childhood was spent helping my parents decorate bulletin boards, grade papers and volunteer at school events. I always thought I would be a teacher when I grew up. And I like to think that although I took a less traditional route, I did follow my parents’ footsteps into education.
The core tenet of the Management Association’s mission is to improve the performance of the employers we support. One of the key ways we accomplish this mission is by educating our members. We do that in a variety of ways, including delivering traditional classroom training. In addition, through our HR Hotline, web resources, weekly articles (like this one), benchmarking surveys and bevy of consulting services, we also advise (i.e., teach) our members with regards to all sorts of important things on any given day. Our education helps members to solve problems, tackle tough issues, face challenges, comply with regulations and access resources that enable them to grow and prosper.
I would also argue that most of our member contacts are teachers. Successful human resource professionals and organizational leaders usually are. There are myriad opportunities in today’s workplace to show others the way, whether it’s onboarding a new employee, explaining a new wellness initiative or discussing a performance gap. Just like school teachers, educating others on the job requires preparation, patience and follow-up. It also demands that we do not rely upon a “one-size-fits-all” approach, but instead tailor our methodology (including communication style and medium) based upon the topic and the audience. The most effective teachers, both those in academic settings and in the workplace, have a wide range of techniques at their disposal and seize “teachable moments” on a regular basis.
Teachers, in my humble opinion, are one of life’s greatest gifts. I would not be who I am, where I am or what I am today, without the care and nurturing of hundreds of teachers throughout my life. While I can no longer name and personally thank every individual that has impacted me in some meaningful way, I am nonetheless eternally grateful for those who have taught me over the years and continue to help me learn and grow. If you haven’t done so lately, take some time to reflect upon those teachers who have made a positive contribution in your life. And remember to show your appreciation on a regular basis to those who teach you, your children or your team. Life-long learners are dependent on and indebted to those who take the time to share their knowledge, expertise, skills and experience.