At the end of the day Tuesday we were called into the library for a teacher-appreciation celebration. It wasn't the PTO who was hosting it (they'd done their appreciating last week), nor was it our administration. It was one of the apartment buildings that feeds into our school.
I've never heard of another apartment complex doing this, or taking this much concern or time for their families. In the beginning of the year the apartment complex donated school supplies to needy families. They come to school and work as mentors for students who live there. They tutor children on site. They took the time to serve us coffee and brownies and tell us how much they appreciate what we do for their community. Not their own kids, not their own families, just what we do for the community.
We need more of that.
Think of the message it sends to families- school is so important that even your leasing office is going to show up at your school and visit you. Our students don't just have a apartment complex, they have another set of eyes looking out for them, asking how they are, and letting them know that they matter.
I looked on their website and didn't see them bragging about their involvement with their families. Other than a generic blurb about a commitment to social responsibility it mentions nothing about how the building is involved in the community. They don't do this to pull residents in, they (seem to) do it because they genuinely care.
The times I am proud to be a teacher are becoming fewer and farther between. Listening to the apartment complex thank us was one of those times because it reminded me of how important education is. It's not just about getting kids to pass tests, it's about building a community.