Teachers Answer: Are You Appreciated?

Teachers Tell Reporters Whether They Feel Appreciated, Share Favorite Gifts



Teachers are provided with an ice cream truck as a token of appreciation.

By Sadie Clifford and Aiden Szymanski

Staff Writers


From May 7th to May 13th, students across the country were encouraged to value their teachers in an annual weeklong endeavor designed to make educators feel treasured for the effort they put forth. Common practice for delivering such appreciation include simple thank you’s, and giving gifts. This past week, Triton Voice reporters decided to investigate whether or not some of THS’s faculty felt appreciated for the consistent effort they put in toward educating our student body.


In Triton High School’s math department, teachers lack full appreciation for their work. 

“I mostly feel appreciated as a teacher, I feel as if not everyone appreciates the same,” said Heather Walter. Walter went on to say that teacher appreciation week shouldn’t have to be the sole reason to show appreciation towards teachers. 

Meanwhile, Matthew Haley acknowledged the camaraderie he has with students as a way in which he feels appreciated.

“Most days, when they’re friendly and respectful,” said Haley when asked if he felt appreciated. He added that students especially display these traits when he’s upset. After further observation by reporters, a lot of the teachers experience the issue where respect has to be prompted out of students. 


Triton Voice reporters found a mixed bag in the language department.

“Yes and no,” said Erin Dempsey, an English teacher at Triton, when asked whether she felt appreciated as a teacher. “I think in certain situations yes. I think a lot of students are vocal about their appreciation.”

Junior Kyle Regnier, who takes Dempsey’s Sports Literature class, appreciates how easygoing she is, refrains from overwhelming him with work, and grades fairly. Jessica Casassa, a Spanish teacher at Triton had the same mixed opinions on how appreciated she felt as a teacher throughout the years.

“This year not so much,” said Casassa. “There are always some kids in some classes that do make me feel appreciated.” 

Just like Regnier, students were quick to pick out Casassa’s easy going nature as their favorite trait of hers. 


Triton Voice reporters also collected answers from teachers in the science and history wings.

“Oh definitely,” said science teacher Adam ‘Doc’ Lothrop when asked whether he felt appreciated. “All my kids are super nice, administration has always been nice, I feel definitely appreciated.” As for Lothrop, his room is decorated with gifts like notes, figures, and drawings from his students. 

History teacher Chad Richard provided a unique take on whether or not he feels appreciated as a teacher, saying that a wrinkle in recent years may have changed things on that front.

“I feel appreciated sometimes but not as much as I did five to six years ago before COVID hit,” said Richard. 


Some teachers also shared some of the best gifts they have received during their times as teachers; Walter spoke highly of the heartfelt letters she has received from pupils before moving on; Haley also spoke highly of a letter a student gave him as well as a hat from some students as well; Dempsey said her favorite gifts were the large class-oriented ones; Lothrop, an avid and outspoken coffee drinker, said he enjoys coffee-themed gifts given to him. Richard said that he always appreciates his students gifting him Mountain Dew while Casassa said that baked goods or halloween oreos were always accepted. Freshman Grace Alcaraz said that she used to give gifts to her teachers to show appreciation. 


“I used to give my teachers gifts when I was younger,” she said. “I don’t anymore because I don’t care.” 


The teachers that reporters interviewed had a recurring theme of mentioning how appreciative their students were. Most dodged mentioning how appreciative the administration was towards their staff. An anonymous source spoke out about administration and their intake on how they show their appreciation. 

“It’s off and on,” they said.  “I feel like a lot of the time a thank you goes a long way and sometimes we’re just told to do a lot of things with not a lot of explanation behind it.” 

Compared to the elementary schools in the district, Triton lacks the teacher appreciation week spirit that the others have. As a gift to their teachers, the NES PTA worked hard to renovate the teachers lounge. With striking new additions like comfortable furniture, a new paint job, and several updates to the kitchenette and bathrooms, teachers now have a new refurbished space to share.


In addition to the minuscule banner which could be seen above the Google Classroom page for the duration of the week, Triton teachers were also provided a ‘thank you’ email from superintendent Brian Forget, pudding and cookies, and an ice cream truck parked outside the main entrance during lunch period last Thursday afternoon. One teacher was vocal about his excitement.

“I’m about to feel appreciated,” said English teacher James Allen prior to acquiring a delectable treat.