This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. Normally, we would be gearing up to celebrate our Horace Mann Educator of the Year, Administrator of the Year and Rising Stars at our annual luncheon. This tradition of more than 30 years is just one of the many milestones that we have to retool this year. On Wednesday, May 6, the day the original luncheon was scheduled, we will still make the announcement of the winners and all finalists will receive a special delivery. National Principal Day was last week as well. They all deserve much more fanfare, so we hope we’re able to come together at a later date to properly recognize all of them.
We are also used to seeing our administrators and families show their appreciation this week in our buildings with special treats and shout outs for teachers. I know that many parents have never appreciated teachers more or taken more notice of the tireless work they do to keep our students engaged than they have during this period of quarantine. There are videos and memes galore across all social media channels from exhausted parents illuminating what educators know to be true: teaching is not for the faint of heart.
Teaching is hard. It is multitasking, it is planning ahead, it is changing course in the moment. It is anticipating student needs and individualizing a response. Teaching is putting students and their best interests first. Teaching is creativity, engineering and problem solving. Teaching is pouring energy and love into a classroom and filling up students’ buckets. Teaching is building knowledge, relationships and a community of learners. Teaching is making 1,500 decisions per day. Teaching is a high wire tightrope balancing act. Please join us in thanking our teachers for doing and being all of these things.
In addition to showing our teachers appreciation this week, we’re also finalizing plans for a number of end of the year milestones and housekeeping tasks. We will be communicating in the coming days about our final plans for broadcasted and in-person graduation observances, as well as locker clean out and summer learning opportunities.
I’m happy to approach this week and the remainder of our academic year with gratitude, as our students, teachers, staff and families all give me hope for better days to come.