Acadiana schools showed their gratitude during National Teacher Appreciation Day. In Lafayette Parish, teachers at L Leo Judice Elementary are spending the week in jeans instead of dress pants.
The Parent Teacher Council at the school is providing lunch throughout the week. At Westside Elementary, teachers are treated to dress up days with different themes, like Hawaii Day and Sports Day. There gestures, according to L Leo Judice Principal Mia Lemaire, are greatly appreciated by the staff.
"It's great to see the parents and students show their support for our teachers," she said. Lemaire said teaching isn't a normal nine to five job. "It's the planning, the extended hours, the weekend and summer work. It never stops."
Westside Elementary Principal Lisa Thomas agreed and added, "I'm a teacher at heart and I know that teachers have a tough job and it benefits the students, not just now but for years to come."
The past year has been a difficult one for teachers and treats like free lunches and jean days can mean the world.
"With all the federal and state tasks that have been put on teachers, it's a lot of added stress," said Lemaire.
Thomas said, "With all these new initiatives, teachers have been taxed this year and we just try to make it a little easier for them. "While only officially recognized for one week, Lemaire and Thomas said teacher appreciation should be celebrated year round.
"It takes a special type of person to do this job," Lemaire said. Thomas agreed and added with a smile, "I love all my teachers and everything they do helps to make my job easier and make the district what it is."