Celebrated the first full week of May each year, Teacher Appreciation Week focuses on thanking the nation’s teachers for their role in developing and expanding the minds of students.
This year's celebration comes during a pandemic when governors have issued stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of coronavirus. Schools are closed but learning continues.
With the very unexpected and sudden transition to online learning eight weeks ago, 3,000 Cincinnati Public Schools' teachers switched from classroom instruction to delivering lessons online, ushering in an unexpected, new wave of distance learning.
Laura Chrystal, an intervention specialist at Evanston Academy, admits she is learning a lot about technology in this remote environment.
She is quick to point out, "Remote teaching can never replace the joy of actually being with our students and our fellow staff members each day," Chrystal said. "As I'm sure is true for all of us, I really miss being at school and seeing everyone on a consistent basis."
Lisa Owens, teacher at Roberts Academy, is also acquiring new skills in the area of technology and is already thinking about what she will do differently when students and teachers return to their classrooms. "I am thinking about an idea to have an optional Google Meet one evening a week when school resumes," she said. Google Meet is a video conferencing platform.
Teacher Appreciation Week is an important time to shine a light on teachers and thank them for the pivotal role they play in students' lives.
As a former teacher and principal, CPS Superintendent Laura Mitchell reflects on the structure, guidance and support that teachers provide their students. "As a proud CPS graduate, I can personally attest to the profound impact CPS teachers have in their students' lives," Mitchell said. "I had dedicated teachers who believed in me, challenged me, and encouraged me to work toward my dreams, and I’m proud to celebrate our incredible educators during Teacher Appreciation Week."
We salute the hard work and selfless dedication of CPS teachers, knowing that no matter what challenges may come before them, they will always find a way to share a valuable lesson, an encouraging word, and do what is best for their students.