Editorial

This is Teacher Appreciation Week, and if ever there was a time we realized how much we appreciate teachers, it is now. In-person classes came to an abrupt end on March 13 as the COVID-19 crisis unfolded, but teachers did not stop educating students or caring for their welfare.

Teachers rolled out online learning plans, made sure students had the technology to access the lessons and handed out meals for students. This new normal is not ideal, but teachers, parents and students have made the best of it.

We appreciate teachers not just for the lessons they teach, but for the emotional support they provide to their students. Just about everyone has a story or stories of the teachers who impacted their lives. These are the teachers who push students to be better when they see unreached potential, but who also offer care and comfort when it is needed most.

For some children, schools are where they know they’re safe from abusive or dysfunctional home lives. Routines and schedules are important to all children, and this disruption of the school year is likely to have lasting impact. In announcing schools may start slowly resuming activities this summer, Alabama State School Superintendent Eric Mackey also warned that when classes do resume, it’s likely teachers will be dealing with students who have been traumatized.

The shutdown of the schools has been hard on teachers, as well. They worry about their students’ welfare. They hope they’ve provided enough academic support and guidance to get each child to the next grade level. They miss “their” kids.

We ask a lot of our teachers: educate, love, protect, guide and counsel our children. On top of that, there are the administrative tasks, the hours of grading and the classroom supplies teachers pay for out of their own pockets. As many parents are finding out now, it takes a very special person to be a teacher.

So to all the teachers, we want you to know that you are appreciated. Thank you.

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