This Week, We Celebrate You!
This week, we are celebrating amazing educators whose tireless efforts have made it possible for us to continue to support the academic and physical, social and psychological needs of more than 166,000 students. Thank you always—especially as we navigate through this crisis—for your dedication, passion and creativity. As a face-to-face organization, we have depended on the fact that thousands of students will walk into schools and classrooms each day and interact with adults and with one another. All of that changed suddenly and drastically and, in just a few weeks, you completely transformed the way you work with students. I have received dozens of emails from parents, students and community members commending our teachers for going above and beyond to help students find their rhythm in this new normal. One particular email from a Fox Chapel Elementary School community member really stood out to me and I would like to share part of the message:
“The children in Mrs. Jones’* class have observed their teacher making attempts to succeed at connecting to something, fail, make other attempts, express disappointment or frustration, apologize and ask for patience, explain her challenges, achieve success (or not), and move along, while still holding the attention of these kids. She maintains an even and upbeat tone in spite of setbacks, and demonstrates how to shift and adjust and just keep moving forward. Most times, as she employs her work-arounds, she finds a way! When she doesn’t, she reassures everyone that she will ask for help and report back later.
“I believe that watching her persevere in this way, and with her signature grace and good humor, is an invaluable life lesson in itself. She is providing them with a great example of how to face and overcome difficult situations and to ask for help when necessary. She is also demonstrating how to accept a failure and to try again. She is modeling the very best ways to learn.”
Thanks so much to the community member who shared these observations with me.
This is just one of many examples that highlights the unwavering dedication and commitment of our teachers. Thank you for giving your very best to all our students in and out of our school buildings.
Jack R. Smith, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
*Name changed to protect the identity of the teacher
ABC News did a piece on Teacher Appreciation Week, highlighting our very own Michael Doggett, a teacher at Hallie Wells Middle School, who uses hip hop to help students learn. See the story here.