Throughout the school year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Newspapers in Education (NIE) celebrated the positive impact teachers had on our region by honoring a Teacher of the Month. Readers submitted nominations and our panel selected the winning teachers. Each teacher received a celebratory ceremony and a gift card from Elco Chevrolet.
Teacher Appreciation Week is May 4-8, and celebrating teachers for their contribution to education is as important as ever. With an unprecedented pandemic shuttering schools, this has never been more apparent. Many parents are working from home and taking on a teaching role themselves. During this time, families are appreciating the creative ways teachers keep their students up-to-date and help raise the morale for both students and parents.
“My family has always loved and appreciated our wonderful teachers, but this pandemic has brought to light exactly how much they are a part of our essential village,” said Erin Chinnici, mother to two elementary students at Sappington Elementary in the Lindbergh School District.
New technology, new focus
Teachers in the region are using new technologies to keep up with schoolwork, as well as check on their kids emotionally. “I have to say I am impressed with the e-learning process, especially given that it was put together so quickly. Our school is holding Zoom meetings for every class, online assignments, testing and individual tutoring or help,” said Tracy Jacobsen, mother to a middle schooler at Gateway Science Academy. But not everyone has access to technology, which is why districts are working to provide many options for students, as well as being understanding of their current situation.
Many parents are appreciating more than just the educational role teachers are playing but also the morale boost they provide for scared or anxious children (and adults). Miss Imm, the April Teacher of the Month, schedules Google Hangouts to check in with students. Ms. Demezier, the May Teacher of the Month, records videos reading with her dog on YouTube.
“Right now they aren’t just shaping the minds of our kids, but the minds of parents everywhere. They bring a peace and comfort to our days even from afar proving they are a rock in our world that transcends reading and math!” said Chinnici.
A viral letter being shared by teachers on Facebook encourages parents “not to stress” during this time. The letter insists teachers will get kids back on track, because that is their “superpower,” and social-emotional health is what parents should be focusing on now.
It’s that support that has stood out to parents most right now. Nomination after nomination talked about how far beyond academics teachers have been working to provide a sense of calm and normalcy for their kids. This is why there has never been a greater time to celebrate our teachers and all their “superpowers” this week.
This content was produced by Brand Ave. Studios. The news and editorial departments of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had no role in its creation or display. For more information about Brand Ave. Studios, contact email@example.com.
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