Teachers are valued
Each year the first week of May is usually reserved to honor school teachers and nurses; however, during these trying times, it has become more evident than ever that their devotion to our county’s children, their families, and their communities has reached new heights. All teachers have learned to utilize unfamiliar technological teaching methods to engage students in long distance learning within a very short period of time and have applied imaginative ways to motivate students to understand, complete, then upload assignments. All have personally contacted their pupils, as well as parents, encouraging them to be patient, resolute, and confident in their endeavors to "hold it together." Many of these tireless professionals have become active in assisting their communities by collecting school supplies and raising money to assist those in need.
The education of our youth is definitely a valuable public service that none of us should take for granted. So many families now realize what necessarily important figures teachers truly are in their children’s lives. The academic, social, physical and emotional wellbeing of our students is absolutely crucial to the heartiness of future generations and to the success of our democracy. As we return to a sense of normalcy, let us never forget the significant work of these unsung heroes.
Linda Cuthbert, Edgewater
Cuthbert is Volusia County School Board vice chair.
Thank all educators
During this Teacher Appreciation Week, I am reflecting on all the wonderful people who work in our schools and administrative offices. Throughout my 30 years with Volusia County Schools, we always celebrated all the adults on campus in what many refer to as Teacher Appreciation Week. Way before the saying "it takes a village" became popular, we knew that every adult on a campus was a teacher.
Yes, there is a difference between teachers and the myriad other roles on a campus. However, if you have ever worked in a school or even walked the halls as an adult, you know that everyone working on a campus contributes to student learning, their development, their happiness. I can remember countless special moments when a student’s teacher was the person in the classroom and then those moments when it was the school secretary, cafe worker, custodian or bus driver. Then there are all those adults who impact students who are not at schools – those dynamic professionals in our administrative offices who consistently juggle an increasing number of support roles for the purpose of providing resources for our schools. They too should receive our appreciation. So as a retired educator, I wish to thank ALL of those I worked with for their work, passion, compassion and limitless energy.
You won’t be getting the hugs this year, so wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze. You are appreciated.
Karen L. Beattie, Daytona Beach
Time is valuable
It seems Gov. DeSantis just dismissed the value of six weeks of schooling with his remark "not much happens in six weeks anyway." Certainly, he did not mean that six weeks of instruction is useless! Consider the value to our state’s children to once again be in the classroom, face to face with an educator, benefitting from quality instruction and access to school lunches. In the north when schools are closed for snow days, the school year is extended.
The school calendar is an arbitrary construction. There is no reason school could not be in session after June 15, provided it is safe to do so. Why is no consideration given to resuming school even if it is during the summer?
Angeline Barretta Herman, New Smyrna Beach