Frazier Comments on Teacher Appreciation Week

Director Frazier Salutes Weakley County Teachers
Posted on 05/01/2020
This is the image for the news article titled Director Frazier Salutes Weakley County TeachersBy Randy Frazier
Director of Weakley County Schools

A pandemic wasn’t necessary for me to realize the valuable role teachers play in our community. But, at this point in our response to the COVID-19 crisis, I feel certain that many of my neighbors will look on National Teacher Appreciation Week with increased awareness and, I hope, gratitude.

Teachers will not be collecting cups, candy and store-bought cards on their desks this May 4-8 since the scheduled week falls during business and school closures. But they can still receive calls, emails and cards in the mail. In these acknowledgements, parents, grandparents, and, even community leaders, may want to reflect on the lessons learned while school doors have been closed.
Some of those lessons could be:

• A teacher’s career doesn’t begin and end with a school bell. Preparing for what happens in the classroom and then grading, recording, and planning for further enrichment for some as well as ways to fill the gaps for others extends a “typical day” from early morning to late night. Right now, we see it in the calls made to students and the online teaching moments.
• A teacher’s commitment keeps him/her at the task during illness, frayed nerves, exhaustion and more. Right now, we feel this as, even in the midst of dealing with their own family’s response to the changes around us, they continue to show up as volunteers in meal distribution.
• A teacher’s character is evident when he/she listens to a child’s spoken and unspoken cries for help – even when those cries come in the form of negative behaviors. They understand that celebrations of big achievements and praise for the smallest first step can keep a child on track toward success. Right now, we hear it as they use online meetings to work through a grace-filled grading period, striving to find what’s best for each child.
• A teacher’s compassion can be felt in the hallway with a smile, in the cafeteria with an impromptu song, in the gym with a cheer or a needed hug in the face of loss. And, right now, in these days of closure, that compassion shines through “we miss you” videos online, tears shed for students who were already in stress-filled situations, and concerns about what the future holds.

Many parents and caregivers are now experiencing the joys and tribulations of keeping a child’s mind focused on learning. They are not career educators but they are getting a glimpse of the commitment, character, and compassion required. To those who have found themselves in a temporary educator role, I say, “thank you.”

And to the more than 320 who faithfully fulfill the role of teacher every day, during times of crisis and days of normalcy, I offer my deepest heartfelt gratitude.

To follow social distancing guidelines, I’ve been communicating with teachers via webcasts. The hashtag we used to celebrate achievements across the County prior to the current crisis, serves as my sign off. It has never seemed more appropriate. Teachers help make us WeakleyStrong.