Educators honored during Teacher Appreciation Week

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – This week educators were honored for all of their hard work.

Teacher Appreciation Week highlighted the dedication teachers have made to keep children educated.

However, due to the pandemic, their duties have been stretched far beyond the chalkboard.

“I miss them so terribly. You don’t realize how much you miss them until you’re not with them every day,” said teacher Heather Ford.

Ford is a kindergarten teacher at Annunciation Catholic School. In her 24-year teaching career, she didn’t think this is how she’d end the school year.

“Kindergarten is a very hands-on grade. All grades should have an element of hands-on education, but with kindergarten because they’re trying to still get those fine motor controls skills under control and things like that,” said Ford.

However, Ford said not being able to physically engage with her students helped her get more creative with lesson plans.

“On Mondays, I Zoom with my entire class, all 22 5-year-olds we Zoom. We talk about the subject of the week and we read stories together and just kind of catch up on each other’s lives. Every day I send a Loom video out and I read a story and I go over whatever the center area of work is for that day,” said Ford.

Kelsey Truitt from Columbus High School teamed up with other teachers when possible.

“I really do miss my kids. All the teachers here are worked really hard together to come up with ways we can best serve our students. Some teachers have been doing Zoom meetings, some have been doing Google hangouts,” said Truitt.

Truitt said it’s all about making sure each child was well prepared when it’s time to return to school.

“We call parents and students every single day and they’ve done really really well reciprocating feedback. The parents have stepped up to help and the teachers are continuing to work hard to get the students what they need to succeed,” said Truitt.

“We’ve kind of had to teach ourselves these new things. Not that I don’t want to be in the classroom, I do, but I know if something like this should ever happen again or an emergency I now know how to use those tools,” said Ford.

Both teachers say their students are performing very well from home and they hope to see them soon.

Teacher Appreciation Week is from May 4-8.

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