The first full week in May has the designation as a special time for TEACHER Appreciation.

While it is not in our ability to change the official title of the recognition, as retired educators we propose to broaden the spectrum of gratitude to include everyone who plays such an important role in our educational system. Proper recognition must go to the non-instructional support personnel, instructional support staff, classroom teachers, providers of special education services, administrators and boards of education.

Throughout our careers in education, we faced many challenges but none to the extent that are in existence today.

The COVID-19 virus has required drastic changes in how our schools operate. The school buildings have been locked down, but the requirement to maintain an atmosphere for learning remains. School personnel devise online learning lessons, that are often impeded by glitches in technology. Myriads of issues arise concerning content material, accountability and evaluation. Procedures have been created to continue to provide wholesome meals to many children who depend on them.

Preparing school budgets in a time of such financial uncertainty needs to be addressed. Amid these, and many other concerns, individual educators and school districts have implemented unique, creative, personal and resourceful materials to keep the students engaged and learning. While the results are satisfactory, nothing can fully replace the dynamics of learning that occur when the educators and students meet face to face. For this reason alone, may this pandemic be over soon.

The realization that there is an absolute need for cooperation between schools and families cannot be overlooked or overstated. None of the adjustments could have worked without a strong cooperative effort from the homes and families. Parents, grandparents, older siblings and other family members have stepped up to play key roles in the education of the students. We realize that this has not been easy. These outstanding efforts should be acknowledged by all.

Just saying thank you seems inadequate. More than ever, we implore that all readers recognize and appreciate the extraordinary work being done by so many to keep education alive during these trying conditions.

Doris R. Kirsch,


First Vice President, Western Zone

Judith Farmer, President

Michelle Claus, Second Vice President

The letter writers are members of Retired Educators of New York.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1