The first is a sweet reassurance to teachers that their work matters, that parents and kids value what they do.
I need your voice in my child’s life.
I need you identifying my daughter’s strengths and weaknesses.
As strong as a voice and presence as I am in my child’s life I know it is not all about me. She needs you to tell her that she has a knack for writing or a gift in math because the next thing I know she is identifying herself as an author or a scientist or a mathematician and the next thing we all know she is an adult and that teacher voice is still inside her head and she IS an author, a scientist, or a mathematician.
The second is more salty, more in your face. Someone asks a teacher what he makes (salary) as part of a diatribe about teachers being second-class citizens in their disciplines. That conversation actually happened in front of poet Taylor Mali, who turned it into a poem, which was then illustrated as a comic over at Zen Pencils.
I must admit, I smiled when I read this one. (Passed on to me by a former student.)