Saida Maalin | Contributor
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers are still going the extra mile for their students as classes have shifted to distance-learning from the traditional in-classroom settings.
During the week of May 4 through May 8 teachers across the nation were celebrated for their consistent efforts and positive impact on students lives.
Former U.S. President Obama, shared an appreciation post connecting with teachers in the Chicago Public School District during a Zoom conference to “thank” them for all their efforts.
“There’s no limit to the devotion I’ve seen in teachers like these educators from Chicago Public Schools,” said Obama, “Their dedication shapes the best part of who we become. I couldn’t be more thankful for their work, especially as they shift lessons online to keep students on track during this crisis.”
An inland area sixth grade school teacher in conversation with the IE Voice, discussed the challenges and positive outcomes teachers have faced during this pandemic.
“It’s been a learning challenge for all of us,” shared the teacher who asked to remain anonymous. “There was a quick response time that was required of teachers and once we met the foundation of making sure students had the material, there was a lot less engagement from the students.”
She touched on some of the concerns the school had in regards to the students’ access to computers and the internet.
It has been a challenge for some teachers to get in contact with their students, to get comfortable with new teaching platforms and to engage students with meaningful material.
“On behalf of all the teachers, this was a wonderful challenge to get us up to speed with technology because some were wonderful at it, while others were in fear of it. We all had to kind of face that and grow in that area. And that’s something we get to take with us into next school year and the year after that.”
As Teacher Appreciation week came to an end students and families showed their gratitude with gifts and kind messages.
“Our students put together a video of them holding a sign saying Thank You and their teacher’s name with a picture of them–which was so cool because we haven’t seen them in so long. We’ve also gotten little gifts sent to the school and our principal gets them and puts it at our doorstep. There’s still a lot of thought going into this week,” the teacher added.
Videos surfaced all over social media platforms like facebook, instagram, and twitter on May 5th of students, families, and everyone showing their gratitude with the hashtag National Teacher Appreciation Day included.
Above photo: Fmr. President Barack Obama surprising teachers on National Teacher Appreciation Day