May 3 through the 7 the whole nation celebrates National Teacher Appreciation Week. This year, more than any other year, teachers deserve a grand celebration, a celebration of honoring the strength, resilience, creativity, and initiative of anyone who works for our schools. Teachers in the Roseburg School District deserve a celebration complete with balloons of thanks and hugs all around!

The last 18 months have been troublesome for everyone, no matter their station, and while not minimizing the challenges anyone else has faced with COVID-19, teachers have been in the trenches of negative public concern, and yet have met the challenges with an intrepid spirit. This is their week for us to express our appreciation. It is also a time to celebrate how Roseburg Public School teachers have navigated the crisis with teamwork and dignity.

The cadence of change has been overwhelming for teachers. One only has to read the news regarding schools across the country and their battles with false starts, union conflict, lengthy quarantines, remote learning, teacher dissatisfaction, and adverse public response. In some districts the battles have been scarring. Our district faced some of the same scuffles on a smaller scale, but our teachers confronted those battles with a tough benevolence, and their thoughtfulness and charity contributed to a continued focus on their students and their teaching.

Our teachers were quickly introduced to an industrial strength level of change with Zoom, Google Classroom, Canvas, exploding email boxes, and a renewal of classic workplace tools. These tools, in a normal year, were meant to make the workplace an easier place to be, but in an abnormal year those tools became the exact opposite of how they were intended, and our teachers have faced exhaustion and fatigue. The tools, without relationships with students, made the changes even more exhausting. Yet, teachers have learned at a rapid pace so their students could progress and learn without too much interruption. Our teachers met the challenges, but it has been tough.

There is no doubt our educational workforce became a partnership with parents who stayed at home with their children during remote learning. Parents became teachers; they deserve a thanks as well. But this workforce, the teachers, staff, parents, and administrators are all exhausted, chronically exhausted by a constant state of change; not an “I need a vacation” exhaustion, but a “constant state of tiredness” exhaustion.

If we have learned anything at all from our COVID-19 experience, we have learned that people are not just our greatest asset, but also our greatest responsibility and our future. Teachers are those people this week, the ones who deserve to be honored, celebrated, and supremely recognized by everyone in our community.

Perhaps a celebration of their accomplishments this past year will lessen their exhaustion for just a brief moment and will let them know we appreciate their perseverance and commitment to our children. This week, thank a teacher.

Micki Hall is a retired teacher with Roseburg Public Schools and a current member of the RPS board of directors.

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(8) comments

Mike

And don't forget to mention that teachers, unlike over 1,700 Douglas County businesses (including sole-proprietors, independent contractors self employed) performed their jobs without collecting any of the $200 million (and still rising) of taxpayers paid for Federal Paycheck Protection Program money for doing their jobs. It's appears to be those who collected the most free PPP money, like our State Senators, County Commissioners and members of Citizens against Tyranny who are the ones complaining about teachers the most.

Scomo

Teaching was long a profession that attracted dedicated, selfless individuals, many of whom were single spinsters who loved to teach children. The introduction of the teachers Union ruined what had been a noble profession. Today, teachers are generally more concerned with their well being than that of their students. This recent pandemic hoax revealed the true ugliness of that issue. Refusing to personally teach students, but instead hiding behind a computer screen severely set back many students, and particularly those in most need of personal instruction. Early on, studies showed that children were far less likely to catch the CoV-SARS2 virus and if they did, they generally did not infect others. In addition, adults under the age of 65 were not severely effected by the disease. Even so, the teachers Union and its members refused to return to the classroom. Sorry, but this sad episode has soured my opinion of public school teachers. That together with the leftist propaganda now permeating public school curricula are strong arguments for home schooling.

mworden

[thumbdown]Scomo, almost 600,000 people are dead from covid, many hundreds of thousands more are suffering disability. According to Dr. Dannenhoffer, as of last night, most of the Douglas County patients hospitalized right now with serious covid are in their 20s to 50s. How can you can call the pandemic a hoax?

NJ

(shakes head) - 590,302 to be sort of exact. Now that vaccinations take precedent it's hard to find the real facts of death in our country. Fear not, at some point Mike should show up to help me with my math. (I really did get through Algebra in high school, honest) [rolleyes]

NJ

Your "hoax" has killed nearly 571 million Americans to date. Blaming teachers and their unions is only a distraction against teachers who perhaps want to live and do so without the debilitating after affects of this deadly virus. Are they any more to blame for fearing possible death than you are for continuing to distract with blame? A more pointed question - why is blame just one of the distractions felt necessary for our newest political party to survive? Your final words do reveal the real reason for your comment.

melrosereader

Scomo You sure are one heckofa grouch. I feel sorry for you. Must be tough carrying all that anger around.

CitizenJoe

Micki Hall:

Exactly right, and thank you. I have had so many inspiring, dedicated, and unselfish teachers all my life, that in reviewing them in my mind, I am overcome with gratitude.

Teachers are insufficiently appreciated, honored, and paid; and they have carried an increased burden in these many months.

Scomo

Wrong on all counts. Teachers are more than adequately paid for what they do. They shouldn’t be honored for dereliction of duty in the face of adversity.

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