JACKSON – Teacher Appreciation Day couldn’t be observed in the usual way thanks to the conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic but remote learning didn’t prevent parent teacher groups and students from joining forces to express their gratitude.
With the school buildings remaining closed for the duration of the current school year, Teacher Appreciation Day was observed virtually. Several township schools created videos that combined music, messages and students holding up signs of thanks for their educators.
At the ELMS Elementary School, students showed their love for their teachers with a video that was introduced by PTN President Laura Spencer.
Spencer declared that the PTN had taken over the school’s morning message and declared, “today is a very special day because it is Teacher Appreciation Day. We wish we were at school right now at our annual luncheon and gift raffle all set up for you. We are all thankful for our wonderful teachers at ELMS.”
She added that the teachers always “go above and beyond their commitment to their students. You have all stepped up to the challenge of remote learning in an amazing way.”
Spencer shared a Dr. Seuss-inspired poem: “I will teach you in a room. I will teach you now on Zoom. I will teach you in a house. I will teach you with my mouse. I will teach you here or there. I will teach you because I care.”
“Thank you, ELMS teachers, for all the care you have shown our students, today and always. Enjoy your day and know we are thinking of you,” Spencer said.
The video featured the school’s quote of the day which Emily, a 3rd grade student recited, “To teach is to touch a life forever!”
Principal Michael Burgos and Vice Principal Shawn Levinson were also featured in the video.
“Behind me is ELMS Elementary. It is just a pile of bricks. Why? Because it is not filled with all the amazing people that come here on a daily basis,” Levinson said.
“We miss all you teachers and we want to use this time to say thank you,” Burgos said. “Thank you to all our teachers for doing such an amazing job taking care of our kids and taking care of each other during this remote learning time and always throughout the year. There isn’t enough time to underscore the work each and every one of you do every day so from the bottom of our hearts on behalf of Mr. Levinson and I have a great Teacher Appreciation Day.”
Giana, another 3rd greater added that the video was made as a thank you, “to all you super awesome teachers. We appreciate all your hard work. We miss you.”
A similar video was created at the Switlik Elementary School which had a collaboration between PTN members and students to create a visual love letter to the school’s teachers.
“Thank you teachers,” students of Switlik said as they held up signs expressing gratitude to the various teachers of the school.
The students are shown saying “I miss you” and referencing their own teachers. “We can’t wait to get back to school.”
The song “Over the Rainbow” is played in the background to set a magical tone to the video production.
Not to be outdone the students and PTN of the Goetz School developed their own video which also featured students holding up signs with message of thanks to their teachers in an all musical production.
The students of Howard C. Johnson Elementary School put their messages of thanks to music with students holding up signs of thanks and expressing how much they missed their teachers and being in school.
Video creation has also been used for some other creative endeavors such as District Occupational Therapist Gina Palumbo’s sensor walk that combines lessons with outside physical activity. In the video a student is shown reciting the alphabet while walking and doing various exercises like jumping jacks, and broad jumps while following a special path.
Holman School students are seen taking part in a Tuesday Tik Tok video that mixes music with exercise and dancing.
A variety of video projects are available for viewing at the school district’s website for the enjoyment of the students, parents, teachers and staff along with the whole community at jacksonsd.org/Page/13145