National Teacher Appreciation Week
Today marks the beginning of National Teacher Appreciation Week. This commemoration is held annually and affords communities all across the country the opportunity to salute our teachers. This year, the celebration looks a bit different but is no less important. With the abrupt closure of school campuses all across the country, teachers have lost the ability to meet with their students face-to-face in a school building or classroom. However, what they haven’t lost is their desire to make an immense impact on the lives of millions of children every day.
I am proud to say that here in the Elizabethtown Area School District, our faculty remains fully invested in the lives of our nearly 4,000 students in so many ways. They are continuing to foster their students’ academic needs by empowering them to be problem solvers and critical thinkers while at the same time nurturing the many diverse learning styles and needs.
Our teachers have done an amazing job putting in place a system that mirrors the functions of a school without an actual school building, classroom, or lab. Their focus has remained squarely on student learning. While nothing can ever replace the dynamic learning that occurs in our classrooms, our teachers have been as busy ever doing the following during the school closure:
- Harnessing technology as a digital classroom.
- Creating digital lesson plans.
- Improvising in the development of projects and assignments.
- Conducting student and family meetings.
- Reviewing student work.
- Providing remediation to students in need of support.
- Hosting virtual class meetings.
- Networking with their colleagues to ensure consistency of instruction.
- Supporting the social and emotional needs of students.
All of this with a huge disparity in learning styles and access to technology by their students. In addition, for many, much like other families in communities all across the country, they have also become the teachers of their own children and are working to balance family needs with that of their students.
We are blessed to have a faculty that is composed of highly skilled, dedicated professionals who through the course of their chosen profession are helping shape the future of our children even when faced with this almost impossible task of replicating a school without a physical school.
Many unknowns remain as to when schools will reopen, what they might look like, and how we will keep students safe when we do, but one notion remains a constant, and that is our teachers and their efforts to deliver the very best education possible to our students regardless of the setting and challenges. For that, I am eternally grateful.
On behalf of the Elizabethtown Area School District, I want to thank our faculty for their outstanding efforts in helping all of our students during this unprecedented time.
Michele M. Balliet, ED.D.
Superintendent of Schools