Sunday May 2, 2021


Today kicks off Teacher Appreciation Week and there has never been a more important time to thank our teachers. Everyone on the planet has had to pivot their lives during the pandemic and so many have sacrificed so much. Teachers weren’t officially deemed essential workers, yet ensuring our kids engaged in learning remotely was and still is as vital as any job out there.

Making sure remote learning happened for students required a complete transformation in the way teaching was presented everywhere and Oklahoma City Public Schools was no exception. There was a herculean effort made on the part of district leadership to be sure devices were deployed and connectivity access was made available. There was also professional development provided to help teachers prepare for their new reality very quickly.

Teachers have had to dig deep to find innovative and creative ways to reach their students. There are countless stories about the ways they’ve done this, including special props, singing, dancing and videos of pet turtles. Our teachers care deeply about our students and often play the role of guardian and counselor in addition to educator. The work is difficult and the rewards are limited. Teachers teach because it is a calling, but the requirements can make it less than appealing to stay in the profession.

The general public hears a lot of messaging about making teachers more accountable, yet we seldom hear much about ways to help teachers desire to stay in the profession. It’s no wonder that many teachers have left and our universities have lower enrollment in education programs than ever before.

The narrative has changed with many parents realizing just how difficult the job is throughout their work from home experience. Let’s keep this momentum going and find ways to support our teachers not just this week, but every day of the year.

Real heroes don’t wear capes. They teach.

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