A Whole New Level of Appreciation

Several weeks ago, my daughter’s elementary school held a parade where we drove through the school’s pickup line waving at all the teachers and staff who held up signs and yelled through car windows how much they missed their students. A few days later, our neighborhood school had a similar parade. Each one brought tears to my eyes. I miss the teachers and staff just as much as my 10-year-old does.

It has been nearly two months since COVID-19 stopped in-person school instruction forcing teachers across the nation to quickly create innovative ways for distance learning. While teaching, in my opinion, has always been one of the most challenging professions, it is even more so during this new normal. Teachers are faced with keeping their students focused and on track academically from afar while at the same time easing their anxieties about what is going on globally. They are also tasked with another challenge – coaching parents in their new role. My husband and I have always been there to help our children with homework or explaining a new concept, but homeschooling, or whatever is we are doing, has at times been a struggle … this is indicated by my 9 a.m. cravings for mimosas. However, my daughter’s teacher calls every week not only to make sure my she is doing OK, but also to see how we, as parents, are surviving. And it is not only my daughter’s homeroom teacher. Her PE teacher called the other day just to touch base.  I have a teacher friend who continued her annual classroom Easter Egg hunt by sneakily hiding eggs in each of her students’ yards. There are so many stories of teachers and staff going above and beyond to help us navigate this new way of life.  

We all have a deep gratitude for what they are doing, and normally during this week we send our teachers and staff gifts of coffee mugs, flowers and other cute handmade treasures. As a member of the PTO, we catered food, delivered specialty coffees, covered lunchroom duty … any small gesture to show how much we value them. This year, we sadly cannot do any of that. We must be creative in showing our appreciation, and I am not exactly sure what would adequately show how thankful we have been during this historic time. I think mostly they would appreciate seeing all the wonderful faces of their students in person, not through the computer screen, and to be able to teach without the restrictions of social distancing.

This week, have your children make a video or sign to send to their teacher, or even send one yourself; buy them dinner from a local restaurant and have it delivered; send flowers or gift cards. There are many things we can do to say “Thank You” during this time of quarantining.

It’s in these challenging times that we truly recognize the pivotal role teachers play in our children’s lives. To all the educators out there – We Love You! (and please share the secret on doing it all without day drinking 😊)

Follow Michelle Pawelski:
Firehouse Wine Cellars general manager

3 Responses

  1. Val
    | Reply

    Such a sweet tribute to teachers! Hannah is a gem and so is Eve! ❤

  2. Diane Pawelski
    | Reply

    A touching and welcome tribute to all teachers! Well done!
    As a retired teacher, I can only imagine how tough it has been for teachers in this highly unusual and unexpected semester. Bless you all!

  3. Etta M. Jones
    | Reply

    I remember reading a quote that read, “No significant learning can take place without a significant relationship.” Thank you for recognizing and acknowledging not only your child’s instructor but educators everywhere.

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