Teacher Appreciation Week

Class Dojo screen shot

Class Dojo is just one of the apps teachers are using during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a screen shot of class prompt from Michaela Howard’s class, Lewiston, Idaho.

As the world has shifted, so has education. Teachers and schools have risen to the occasion to deliver lessons and learning from afar. They have moved classes online, and some schools are checking out computers to families as needed–like in Troy, Idaho. Some educators are pre-recording their lectures, others create work packets for students at home. Several schools and teachers are using video conferencing and other means to connect with their students and to create some resemblance of social normalcy.

Allison Foote, a special education teacher at Troy Elementary in Idaho, says she is “so thankful that we can still see our students in virtual meetings using Google Meet, Google Duo, and Zoom.” She added, “we are making great efforts to connect with each family often and to assure them that we are here to help and support them.”

Michaela Howard, who teaches kindergarten at Whitman Elementary in Lewiston, is also thinking of creative ways for this new way of schooling to be both educational and fun for students. She uses an online platform to connect with students and families and sends videos daily, asking questions to her students and often reading books to them. She also sends a card to every student each week, just to show she cares and is thinking about them.

Lewiston’s entire district’s elementary schools are using choice boards. Each class has a different board for the week that lists subjects like math and science, music, and physical education. There are activities under each subject and students are asked to choose two per day to complete. This keeps things fresh and exciting for students. Examples of this include playing “Simon Says” with your family for PE, with prompts like jumping up and down or walking like a crab. Some other prompts include writing a sentence about your favorite subject in school or completing the included math problems.

Teacher Appreciation week is May 4th through 8th. You may not be able to have close contact with your educators at the moment but there are ways you can show your thanks. You can purchase an online gift card to a local coffee shop or restaurant. This is a great way to support local businesses and support your teachers in the process. Or a simple note of thanks can speak volumes. Sending an email is free and easy, but can still convey gratitude for those teachers working diligently in a difficult situation.

The denigrating saying is, “those who can’t do, teach.” But teachers are always doing: doing their best to shape the minds of future generations. Even in difficult circumstances, especially now, doing all they can for their students, because they care about them. So, perhaps now is the time to acknowledge: those who teach, do the most.