Thank a teacher this week

(Columbus) Republic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a new, well-deserved, appreciation has grown for a select profession — a group of people working in a field that’s often underpaid, unseen and underappreciated, but is vital to the future of our community.

Many parents have learned a valuable lesson during the shutdown: don’t underestimate the skill and dedication of a good teacher.

While some students have transitioned to eLearning with ease, some families have struggled to adapt to teaching at home.

Distractions abound, as it’s tough for many kids to look at their living space as both a home and homeroom. The frustrations aren’t just for parents — who have also had to work from home on top of pseudo-teaching duties — and students, but also for the educators. Few, if any teachers want to work under the current conditions.

During the first full week of May, we celebrate those who mold the future during Teacher Appreciation Week, with National Teachers Day falling on the first Tuesday (May 5).

In the U.S. there are an estimated 3.2 million full-time education teachers in public schools and 0.5 million private school teachers, according to the National Center of Educational Statistics.

Nearly 500 teachers at Jackson County schools were charged with educating more than 8,000 students this school year. This is the last week of classes for most of our teachers in Jackson County, and it sure has been a different year with some real challenges.

Many teachers have gone above and beyond to help their students, as all parties navigate through a difficult set of circumstances.

Hundreds of educators respond to emails far before, and after, assigned virtual hours, act as emotional and technological support, and put in extra hours to try and develop new lesson plans to help keep kids engaged. These actions, and much more, are nothing new: they’re just often taken for granted.

If you’re a parent, take the time to thank your child’s educator this week. If not, reach out to one of your former teachers and let them know just how much you appreciate them.

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