We Made It!


This past week was Teacher Appreciation Week. Let’s face it; it should be Teacher AppreciationYear! Hopefully, someone made you feel special or reminded you why you do this job. If that is not the case, stick around.

Let’s start by saying, you all are awesome.

During this school year, the world critically observed as you learned new strategies, tried new tech tools, stretched your comfort zone, and navigated very new waters. Our kids watched as their teachers, you, changed everything you know at the drop of a hat for them. They learned resilience, grit, and of course, how to fake having an audio issue during a class zoom to avoid answering a question! The learning may not show up in the test scores, but it will show up in life. I saw so many amazing educators transform themselves.

So what comes next?

As you wrap up your year, I hope you can see peace and tranquility in the days ahead. Take time to reflect and rejuvenate yourselves; you deserve it. Hopefully, we can take what we have learned, the good, bad, and ugly, and determine what is best and most effective, moving forward. This is an opportunity to move into a whole new world! The real learning loss will be if we revert back to how things were.

One thing for sure, some of what we thought we knew about education, learning, and students has been challenged. We have been empowered to see the potential in some much-needed changes! I see a bright future ahead and feel honored to work with such innovative educators.

Tracy Rains is a Virtual Learning Specialist for Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8, Google Certified Educator, and CK-12 Certified Educator. In her role at IU8, Tracy provides teacher professional development and supports school districts with students in virtual programs. She also helps to lead the state initiative in utilizing Open Education Resources.

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