If absence makes the heart grow fonder then it follows that appreciation of teachers is running deeper than ever before this spring.
As Teacher Appreciation Week wound down we sampled some of the lengths that principals and administrators went to in expression of a job especially well and difficultly done by their staffs under extreme duress during the homestretch of the 2019-20 school year.
At Lincoln High, staff members received a gift bag that included a journal and desk kit, a personalized message from an administrator and a take-and-make meal provided in collaboration with Tumea & Sons, a landmark Southside restaurant.
North put together gift bags that included personalized water bottles, T-shirts, and lots of inspirational messaging apropos of the vital work that teachers do. Deliveries ranged as far and wide as Ames and Monroe.
Roosevelt dispatched a squad comprised of students, instructional coaches and the admin team to deliver swag bags of goodies to the front porches of not only teachers, but all 150 staff members at the building.
Central Academy teachers received an appreciative personal email to begin the week and could expect to receive a tangible token via the postal system by week’s end.
Also on Friday, the PTA at Greenwood Elementary organized a drive-thru teacher appreciation event, presenting their educators with flowers, a card, and a special t-shirt from Raygun.
Beyond the expressions of gratitude from their organizational superiors, teachers have been absorbing renewed affection from the people they answer most directly to, their students, ever since contact with them was reestablished via the distant learning curriculum. The connections might be virtual, but what’s exchanged via them is real as never before.
All teacher contracts and job descriptions include a clause about “other duties as assigned” that can cover many contingencies. Never before, though, has it pertained to on-the-fly conversion from classroom to distant learning in the midst of a developing public health crisis.
As they always do, teachers delivered. This week a grateful community reciprocated.