Teacher Appreciation Week: What Teachers Would Like to Have During Distance Learning

 (draganajokmanovic/iStock)

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 distance learning makes this academic school year unlike any other. Teacher Appreciation Week begins on May 4th and it offers an opportunity to take a moment and express our gratitude to teachers.

MindShift asked educators on Facebook and Twitter what would help them feel appreciated, especially during this time of emergency distance learning. And what many educators requested was a note of appreciation.

Notes from my students would be amazing.... and also probably break me. Which is also okay in my book. All the feels! ❤️
-Juliana Freed

The need for communication feels especially urgent because it’s hard to tell what’s happening on the other side of a Zoom call or Google Meet once the student logs on – if they are able to log on at all. Seeing someone in person every day can give you a better sense of how they’re feeling. But distance learning has cut off families who don’t have access to the internet; and the hardships brought on by COVID-19 have kept students from being in touch with their teachers.

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I'm a high school teacher. I really just want kids and families to check in via email and let me know they're okay.
-Sara Simpson

Communication would also help teachers improve upon what they’re teaching online. Many were thrust into the role of distance learning teachers within a matter of days and weeks. Student feedback can let them know what’s working well and what could use improvement.

A note of appreciation is honestly #1 for me. We all like to hear what we've done well / what's working.
-Sharon Nieve

So many teachers have gone out of their way to reach out to students and families. But teachers need support, too. After all, they ramped up crisis distance teaching in record time while checking in on their students and managing the pandemic in their own lives.

I would have felt appreciated if, during the 2 weeks between when school let out and distance learning began, if even one student, or parent, or former student or parent had sent a simple email checking in on me and my family---just asking if we were ok.

I've asked many teacher friends far and wide. All say they sent emails like that or made phone calls to their students, but none of them received a message from a student or parent.

While we've been doing distance learning for a while now, I would still appreciate a little email of concern. Just ask to make sure all in my family are well, ask if the oil prices have affected my family members' jobs. Show some care.
-PJ McIntire Williams

And with so much of the teaching responsibilities now on the shoulders of parents and caregivers at home, Shannon O’Brien suggested recognizing parents, too, with appreciation.

As a teacher and a mom I think we should be including parents in appreciation week. They are suddenly homeschooling.
-Shannon O'Brien

But there’s no denying the overwhelm people are feeling, especially for those who are dealing with COVID19 infections and economic hardship.    

I have student families dealing with covid illness. Last thing on my mind is being appreciated.
-Ariana Vilcins

See what others had to say about Teacher Appreciation Week on Facebook and Twitter, including many calls for more funding for public education.