Teachers Thanked – Virtually – During Appreciation Week

Photo provided by Jackie BODNAR
Bianca Serratos, a third grader student in Jennifer Garrubba’s class at Mountain Avenue Elementary School, made a heart card for Teacher Appreciation Week to thank her for her hard work.

By Lori BODNAR, intern

This week, May 4-8, is National Teacher Appreciation Week. For those parents who haven’t yet thanked their children’s teachers, several principals at local schools will forward a card or note to teachers if the notes are sent to the school, or parents can send an email expressing gratitude to their child’s teacher. Some schools and classrooms have set up Flipgrid or other similar video software for students to record and send a message of thanks.

Remote teaching is taking place due to COVID-19 and teachers are hard at work to provide online resources for students. Many have found creative, innovative ways to keep their students engaged, such as online “field trips” to museums, state parks or zoos.

Teachers shape the future by educating students so their futures will include making informed decisions, having a successful career and being a productive member of society. To accomplish this, teachers put in long hours and are working hard, especially during this social distancing time, so students are well prepared for advanced placement tests, college and careers. Recently, the U.S News and World Report ranked Crescenta Valley High School in the top 4% of the entire nation, evidence that students and teachers are both of high caliber and dedicated to learning and teaching.

In 1953, Congress proclaimed a National Teacher Day. In 1980, Congress declared March 7 as National Teacher Day for that year only. The National Education Association continued to have Teacher Day on the first Tuesday in March until 1985. Beginning in 1985, the National PTA (Parent Teacher Association) established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May.

Many schools and organizations are giving tribute to teachers to recognize the special work they do in educating a child. Mountain Avenue Elementary School PTA coordinated its Teacher Appreciation Week by encouraging students to make videos on Flipgrid to thank their teachers and let them know they appreciate all that they do. Mountain Avenue students can also mail letters or cards to the school, or email teachers directly to show their gratitude. The National Honor Society from Crescenta Valley High School also has been making videos on Flipgrid to show their appreciation to the teachers.

The remote learning model has also opened the eyes of many parents who are now helping supervise their children’s education. Kim Lund is a parent of three children; her son Linus is in fifth grade, and daughters Laura and Lark are in third grade and kindergarten. Lund is also a teacher. 

“Many parents are now recognizing the difficulty of educating children who are at various stages of learning and have different learning styles and abilities,” she said. “Parents are realizing how much effort and work that teachers [invest].”

Lund added that her children made Flipgrid videos for their teachers to voice their gratitude. Part of sharing their thankfulness, she said, is for students to stay connected with their classrooms and keep up with their classwork that is assigned by teachers.

Her son Lark is a kindergartener in Leslie Harlan’s class. 

“I like that my teacher helps me to learn,” he said. “She is fun, energetic and reads us stories. In class, we play a game called ‘Catsup and Pickles.’ The catsup part is if we have any work we need to catch up on, and the pickles part of the game is learning games.” 

Lark’s big sister, Laura, is in third grade in Wendy Young’s class. 

“I like Mrs. Young because she helps us individually and makes sure that everyone is in the right spot where they should be for their learning,” Laura said. “She is really nice. Once, when we were still in school, she let us watch ‘Frozen 2’ during indoor recess.”

Linus Lund is in Paula Arenson’s fifth grade class. 

“Mrs. Arenson is really great and she makes sure that everyone knows what they need to do for their grade,” he said.

Students who haven’t yet thanked their teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week through email, Flipgrid videos, or by mailing a note directly to the school, which will be forwarded, can send a photo to CV Weekly showing students holding a letter, poster, or card expressing their gratitude to teachers. Send to robin@cvweekly.com at CV Weekly or mail to CV Weekly, 3800 La Crescenta Ave. #206, La Crescenta 91214.