Teacher Appreciation: Thank You Frontline Heroes
As 2020 comes to a close, we reflect on the inspiring work and dedication of educators during what has been a challenging year. “Teacher appreciation” takes on a whole new meaning in 2020, when it became apparent to everyone the critical role schools play in society.
Educators were tested beyond their traditional roles this year. Many had to adapt to new technologies and reapproach how to do their job overnight. They pivoted to making sure the basic needs of their students and families were met. These were stories we heard from a principal from Atlanta, a high school history teacher in Chicago, a principal in Washington DC, a special ed teacher in Minneapolis, and a school counselor in Washington DC who were gracious enough to share their experience and advice with us during the pandemic.
How can we begin to express teacher appreciation this year? We were lucky to get the recognize the amazing work that our clients do to build a safe and supportive culture during this 2019-2020 school year, including:
- The Florida Department of Education
- Alief Independent School District in Houston Texas
- Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida
- Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Miami, Florida
- Dr. Deitra Bryant-Mallory, Senior Deputy Chief of Student Supports, District of Columbia Public Schools in Washington, D.C
- Jacqueline Rodriguez, LCSW Coordinator, Sacramento City United School District in Sacramento, California
- Rikki Bullard, SCORE Project Coordinator, Robeson County School District in Lumberton, North Carolina
- Daniel Adamek, Executive Director at Little Orange Fish in Hunstville, Alabama
- Tim Evans, Regional Enrichment Center Site Supervisor, New York City
All were recipients of this year’s Kognito Education Awards for outstanding leadership in promoting mental health literacy. And we’d also like to commend administrators in Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia for addressing trauma-informed practices, and Minnesota for its statewide initiative to roll out mental health professional development.
We know that behind each of those awards are countless stories of teachers who have stepped up to support their students. And we also know that these award winners are just a sampling of the great work educators are doing around the country.
A note of teacher appreciation from Kognito
You were given little notice to quickly shift to new learning environments in response to COVID-19 safety concerns. But as plans and policies changed, you adapted.
You transformed your homes into classrooms. When distance kept you away from your students, you found ways to connect. You checked in on those you knew needed extra help. You planned, engaged, adapted, tapped into your creativity, drove innovation, and most importantly, you showed compassion and care to your students when they needed it most.
It’s been an honor to support you as you went above and beyond to support student mental health. The impact you’re making on students’ lives during this challenging year will be remembered for the rest of their lives, and we’re so thankful for your work.
“Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.” -Andy Rooney
From all of us at Kognito, thank you for stepping up during crisis and for continuing to put your students first and prioritizing their wellbeing, no matter the circumstances.