It is Teacher Appreciation Week across the country, and while one week is hardly enough time to show our teachers how much we value them, it is a good opportunity to tell the teachers in your life that you notice all they do for our students and communities.
Teachers get to work early so they are prepared for a productive day of learning when their students walk through the classroom doors.
Teachers are adapting all day long, tailoring lesson content to a variety of learning styles so each and every student can walk away with a better foundation of knowledge and skills.
Teachers are meeting the daily challenges of helping one or two, perhaps more, students with behavioral problems that disrupt the class.
Teachers step up to fill needed roles in coaching, leading student clubs, and other extracurricular activities.
Teachers spend their evenings and weekends grading schoolwork and replying to texts, phone calls, and e-mails from parents and students with special requests when they could spend that time with their own families.
Teachers are passionate about preparing students for eventual careers and creating an environment where students feel safe and supported.
Thankfully, in Idaho, our schools have been open longer than any other state during the pandemic. Keeping schools open and students in their classrooms for valuable in-person learning has been and continues to be the priority, which is why I decided to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to teachers before many others. That said, it still has been difficult to adjust to all the sudden changes in learning and instructing throughout the pandemic. Students, parents, families, teachers, and school administrators have met the challenges by coming together to support one another.
We all should signal to our educators that we value them and we want to keep them in the profession. We should be laser focused on equipping teachers, parents, and schools with the tools they need to prepare our students to become eventual participants in our state’s workforce and lifelong learners.
To all the Idaho teachers, I thank you on behalf of the people of Idaho for your dedication to our students. Together with families, volunteer school board members across the state, and our school administrators, you are the backbone of strong communities in Idaho.
Thank you, teachers!