In harmony with everything else surrounding education right now, Teacher’s Appreciation Week feels different this year.

Sure, we have always shown gratitude to our educators this week. We have sent bagel trays, sentimental cards, and other tokens of our appreciation. In years past, this week has come and gone and we have fallen back into our busy lives of homework help, band practices and dance recitals.

But this year is different.  There is something about wrangling our own kids (mine included!) to fulfill their daily educational obligations that makes us genuinely APPRECIATE the professionals who can flawlessly transition a class of 25 or more kids.  All day. Every single day.

The truth is, our students and families need our teachers today more than ever. Just eight weeks ago, we practically asked them to rethink the education system overnight; then we asked them to go and implement it with little direction; and now they are showing up for our kids every day.  And some days during this shutdown, schooling is the one sense of normalcy our students and families have right now.

As we move towards reopening our schools and adjusting to necessary changes, including the voices of our teachers in these conversations will be critical.  Last week, we announced the launch of our NJ Teacher Leader Policy Fellowship. We are committed to this work because it is essential for current, practicing teachers to take part in future conversations and policies that impact education, in a post-pandemic world and beyond.  New Jersey Teachers: Apply to the Fellowship by May 10. Because, we need your voice today more than ever…

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