Teacher Appreciation Week!--and a quick reminder
Hello Amazing Community!
It's the most wonderful time of year. This week is Teacher's Appreciation week and I'm going to be honest they need it more now than ever. They have been working overtime to serve you and your students. If you could send them a quick video as a group or individual emails I know they would really appreciate it. We already had some parents reach out which is amazing. One parent actually wrote an amazing editorial piece for the newspaper but they stopped production of the Tierra Times. If you want to read it it's right after the reminder about attendance and stresses the importance of thanking your child's educator!
One quick reminder on attendance.
Our counselors will be contacting all students who had several absences as that indicates there is an access issue and we are here to help.
Our office staff will be contacting those with 1-2 absences just to reiterate what the policy says. You will be marked absent if you have not been in contact with the teacher in any capacity for a whole week.
Here is the policy as it is in the student/parent handbook. YOU MUST CONTACT YOUR TEACHER IN SOME CAPACITY BY 3 PM ON FRIDAYS...preferably by doing the work they are assigning. We received many emails about this and upon investigation found students were checking in at 7,8,9,10 pm Friday Night----as I'm sure you know my staff is sleeping.......zzzzz.
Editorial: Tierra Times, May 2020 Issue *publication suspended*
Appreciation for Teachers…From a Distance
The first week of May marks Teacher Appreciation Week in the United States. Typically, students give teachers small gifts and cards, and parent organizations throw a luncheon or decorate classrooms—for the younger grades, anyway. At the very least, efforts are made to make teachers know—in a visible way—that they are appreciated. That was before 2020 and COVID-19.
Schools closed suddenly and we all entered an unplanned, different reality with numerous challenges. The San Diego Unified School District eventually laid out plans for distant learning, but teachers didn’t wait for policy development before they acted; it’s what teachers do.
Many teachers reached out via email, Google classroom, apps, and other means to communicate with families. Teachers set up informal Zoom meetings, disseminated enrichment activities, reassured students that they were still available. Teachers invested in tools to improve their online teaching or home workspace. They stayed up late thinking about how to differentiate teaching and make distance learning equitable. They woke up early to attend trainings and unpack the many daily updates and changes sent their way by administrators.
Without a school or a classroom our teachers are still teaching. Absent of some of the support infrastructure that helps teachers reach students with unique needs, our teachers are still teaching. Perhaps with slightly reduced aplomb, but increased commitment, they show up for our kids. Teachers adjusted because that’s what teachers do.
Distance learning shouldn’t cancel Teacher Appreciation. If ever there was reason to appreciate our educators, it is at this very moment. We have all been thrown into unknown spaces, but our teachers were asked to abruptly pivot and dive into unexplored territory with little fanfare and the highest of stakes: our kids. Their kids. Because if there’s something teachers have shown us over the past eight weeks is that teachers love our kids. Most teachers have gone above and beyond their contractual obligations. It’s what teachers do.
If you think teachers could be doing more or better, then you haven’t been paying attention to what teachers have already accomplished. In addition to delivering content in an entirely new format, my children’s teachers have each shown that they care about my kids’ wellbeing. To me, that is enough. I ask you to reach out to your child’s teacher, former teacher, teacher neighbor, teacher friend and remind them with a note or a gesture why they are appreciated.
Finally, to my children’s teachers—past and present—I say, “Thank you. I’m a big fan.”
Sandra W. Bever
Sandra W. Bever is a university professor who has been doing distance education for nearly 10 years. She is a staunch supporter of public schools and has been a parent volunteer across several SDUSD schools since 2009.
Thanks and have a great week of learning!
Dr. Erica Renfree