Pandemic brings new meaning to Teacher Appreciation Day

Pandemic brings new meaning to Teacher Appreciation Day

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Teachers have likely never been as appreciated as they are right now. They’ve been forced to rethink how to do their job and engage with students during a pandemic.

Dining rooms have become classrooms for teachers as they continue virtual learning in this unprecedented time.

Teachers like Kathryn Whitney, SCCPSS Teacher of the Year, have had to think outside the box as schools are closed for in-person classes. She’s now heavily leaning on technology to teach her students at Garrison.

But beyond technology, teachers are also thinking about ways they can engage all their students. Whitney has sent her students mail, created unique projects, and even given them a cut out paper Mini Mrs. Whitney to learn with.

Teachers are not only having to rethink their lessons but create multiple versions for students. It’s not always been easy, but teachers say it’s the connections that matter.

“We are still teaching, we are still giving a lot of instruction, but I think a lot more of what we’re doing is just connecting with kids. So, am I being the best teacher in the world right now? No. But am I doing a lot of things to make sure my kids know that I am thinking about them and we’re working together? Absolutely,” Whitney said.

It goes without saying how inventive and dedicated our teachers are, but on Teacher Appreciation Day, their work hits a little different. And for the parents who’ve had to become teachers through this pandemic, the pros have a message for you.

“Hang in there, give yourself a lot of grace and just you know, whatever you’re doing is fine,” Whitney said.

As this year comes to an end, teachers are excited to get back into the classroom, but say some of their technology tricks will come with them.

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