A school in the first week of May overflows with joy and appreciation.
Children march through the door carrying carefully wrapped packages – plenty of coffee mugs, yes, but also handmade treasures. Teachers enjoy catered lunches and desserts baked up by PTA volunteers. Hallways glitter with Teacher Appreciation Week posters, and the celebration spills over to social media, where we scroll through tributes to teachers of today and yesterday.
While this first week of May certainly looks different for all of us, let’s not skip this tradition. Based on the Facebook posts I’ve seen, quite a few of you, have realized during our quarantine, as TV producer and writer Shonda Rimes nailed it: “Teachers deserve to make a billion dollars a year. Or a week.”
Maybe your “aha” moment came on the first day of quarantine, when you realized your child *might* be a handful in the classroom. Maybe it came as you watched your child wiggle in her seat, counting down the minutes until the Teams call with her teacher. Maybe it came, like it did for one parent who emailed us, when you saw a teacher in the high school’s parking lot using its wifi to keep teaching when a storm knocked out her service.
So this week, please consider emailing your child’s teacher a thank-you note, an e-gift card, or a snapshot of your child’s homemade card. We’ll post this message on CCSD’s Facebook page today … it’s a perfect place to make a comment and #ThankATeacher. Some of you already have started, like Bascomb ES fourth-grader Emma Russell, whose note (see photo above) to teacher Sonya Turner recounts all her impressive attributes, in alphabetical order, from “amazing” to “zealous.”
Most of us neither own enough or earn enough to pay the actual cost of our children’s education, and, thankfully, our entire community shares that expense. The true bill of our children’s education is even greater than those dollars and cents, and, thankfully, it never will come due. For teachers give what is priceless to our children each day: they give them pieces of their heart.
Teachers truly do create all other professions, and our #CCSDNotables feature on social media regularly reminds me of how many of our alumni excel in their careers and life as a result of their teachers’ dedication. My teachers inspired me to become an educator myself. My children’s many outstanding teachers in the Woodstock Zone did the same, encouraging Jonathan (now a teacher) and Stephanie (now a paraprofessional studying to be a teacher) by connecting with them, sparking their interest and then holding them accountable to do their best work.
I’ve told you before about my favorite teacher, Dot Frasier. She was my teacher, then my mentor, and then my friend (even on Facebook). And when I began teaching, I learned the truth – she had always been my friend.
As we end this memorable year together, please know that I am proud of all of our teachers, our students, our families, and our community partners. We miss you and, while the days have often seemed longer, July will hurry here. We hope to see you then for graduation ceremonies and back-to-school meet-and-greets, and we hope to welcome students to their classrooms in August for the beginning of school. Emphasis on the word “hope,” as that is what we must rely on every day, and especially as we prepare for the many challenges we face with the new school year.
Thank you for everything,
Dr. Brian V. Hightower
Superintendent of Schools
UPCOMING: While the last official day of school is Friday, our teachers, through May 22, will be working with children who need more time and help to succeed; if your child is struggling, please reach out to his or her teacher. Our Principals are organizing times for you to visit the school, if needed, to pick up your child’s belongings and ordered items and drop off any returns; you will receive details about this from the school. CCSD Curriculum & Instruction staff is developing resources, which we hope to have ready to share next week, to provide you resources for optional continued learning over the summer break.
SUMMER SCHOOL: Registration is now open online through May 22 at https://bit.ly/CCSDsum20 for high school summer school; all classes will be online from June 3-23 with credit recovery available for many courses, as well as initial credit in personal fitness and health for rising ninth-graders.