Valentine’s Day has turned into Valentine’s week for many teachers as they celebrate their occupation with the #LoveTeaching campaign.
Now in its fifth year, the movement is all about drawing out the passion and inspiration of teachers across the U.S.
The grassroots effort originally was conceived by three state teachers of the year that wanted to bring their fellow educators together in the month of February to celebrate their profession and put a positive narrative of teaching in the public eye.
“It just helps teachers get square with their beliefs on why they love teaching and why we were drawn to the profession in the first place,” said Darbie Valenti, a GATE teacher at Carden Park Elementary who is helping to coordinate the online efforts this year.
With online banners and images, teachers can spread the love in a number of different ways, including through social media. Teachers are called to use #LoveTeaching in various posts about those who have inspired them as well as why they love what they do.
Contests regarding videos and stories shared with the campaign’s goal in mind reward some participants with gift cards as rewards on weloveteaching.org.
“The best teachers are passionate teachers, and it’s really easy to forget that sometimes and to lose some of that passion during the year in those lulls and to have all of these people supporting you and getting you to think back about why you do it is just really important,” said Levi Evans, a third-grade teacher at Carden Park Elementary. “It’s nice to be reflective and think back on why you became a teacher and why you do what you do.”
Valenti and Evans explained why February is the perfect time to celebrate such an occasion, as schools have kids cooped up in the classroom a bit more due to the cold weather. And with snow days constantly changing the schedule, Evans said it can be a bit more stressful on the teachers when it comes to formulating lesson plans.
Both Valenti and Evans said that they hope to incorporate aspects of the #LoveTeaching campaign into their daily routines: complimenting other teachers that make a difference, letting others know how much of an impact they make on their teaching, and remembering often why they chose the occupation to begin with.
“I think it’s really important for students to know that their teacher loves teaching too and that their teacher is fully invested in what they’re doing,” Evans said. “I think (students) are really good at telling if teachers are or not, so I think that’s always really powerful too.”
The #LoveTeaching campaign ends this Thursday, but educators can still go to weloveteaching.org to see how they can get involved.
“It’s a good time for us to remember the positive aspects of teaching,” Valenti said.