Genuine surprise is a rare thing these days.

Technology has allowed us to figure out the sex of a baby weeks into the pregnancy. A general curiosity makes us want to find our Christmas presents early. (Maybe that’s just me.)

Surprises can be a lot of fun when executed the correct way.

The Atchison Alternative School executed the perfect surprise on Wednesday afternoon. Paulette Augustine, in her second year as an English teacher at AAS, was told that she was going to be part of a presentation. Several students are reading “Divergent” at the alternative school. The people in the book are divided into five factions – which represent a different character trait – such as honesty and bravery. A Divergent has all five character traits. The students decided that Mrs. Augustine had all of the traits, making her the Alternative School’s Divergent.

Five students spoke about Mrs. Augustine, listing her talents and giving the reasons for her being a Divergent.

Watching those students speak made Mrs. Augustine tear up – and she had no clue what was yet to come. As the group finished, USD 409 Superintendent Dr. Susan Myers walked out to the stage to announce that Mrs. Augustine was named the 2015-16 Teacher of the Year in the district.

It was a fun moment for everyone involved, and it was the perfect surprise.

It was a special moment for Mrs. Augustine, a teacher who certainly deserves recognition.

She isn’t the only teacher who deserves praise – they all truly do.

My dad has been a teacher for more than 30 years, so I understand what goes into it. It’s not a job that you can just leave everything at your desk. There are always papers to grade and report cards to fill out. There are conferences to attend and deadlines to meet.

And, of course, there is keeping the students interested in the material so they not only understand it but can use it later in life.

It’s not an easy job at all. It is an underappreciated job.

Teaching has changed quite a bit, too. My dad said that when he first started teaching, all he had to do was tell a kid that he would speak to their parents to get them to behave. Now, there are so many parents who just don’t care. Or, they put the full blame on the teacher.

It’s just part of being a teacher. They’ve accepted it – and yet they still show up every day to do their job.

It’s not always a glamorous job, however, the community could make it a little bit better.

Tell a teacher that you appreciate what they’re doing for your community. Let them know that even though they may not feel like it, they really are making a huge difference. Compliments like that don’t go unnoticed. It gives them the motivation to move forward.

Logan Jackson is the Globe managing editor. He can be reached at (913) 367-0583 Ext. 20410,

@loganglobe on Twitter.

Logan Jackson can be reached at

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