Teachers are the thread that hold our schools together

To the editor:

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 4-8 this year and a perfect time to thank teachers for their dedication and hard work for our children.

When Indiana announced all schools were closing on a Thursday, the next Monday teachers transformed their classrooms to online virtual classes, a feat that very few people could pull off, but for teachers it was just another day. As the social distancing turned from weeks to months, every teacher stepped up to get computers to those who did not have them, and sat in their car at students houses to create a hot spot from their cell phone for those that did not have internet.

The teacher’s school day extended from 8 to 12 hours and more to accommodate families that had many kids and only one computer. Kids with no internet had lessons with worksheets delivered by teachers to their homes, and in-person tutoring often took place six feet apart in the front yards to help with homework. And then there were the teachers that went above and beyond to get essential supplies such as food and medications to their student’s families.

Teachers in public schools must prepare for situations as diverse as the students that come to their classrooms. They make sure that every student has the chance to succeed — the smart ones, physically and developmentally disabled ones, English language learners as well as students that come with the burdens of poverty. And most of this is done at the teacher’s expense both financially and emotionally.

For over a decade, state political leaders have tried to claim there was a problem with public schools caused by the lack of efforts of the teachers, but this public health crisis has proved that our public school teachers are the very thread that holds our schools and community together.

During this week of appreciation for teachers, send them an email, make a phone call or post on social media a "Thanks" for all they do. Or better yet, send them a gift card to buy school supplies for next school year.

—Teresa Kendall

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