Editorial: Teachers deserve our appreciation every day

In case it wasn’t apparent before the pandemic, we’ve learned over the last year that school is vital not only for the education it provides to our children but also for their social development, sustenance and structure.  

Teachers are at the heart of every school. For nearly two school years, they have found themselves adapting to change while trying to maintain some semblance of order.  

Parents, who at times were forced into the role of teacher, learned really quickly how difficult of a job it is.  

Teachers have worked harder than ever through unprecedented circumstances as schools balance remote and in-person learning. Educators have faced these challenges head on and have dedicated many hours to making sure students do not fall behind.  

Not every story has been a success story, but the good surely outweighs the bad.  

Maine has roughly 18,000 teachers statewide serving 185,000 students in more than 2,500 public and private K-12 schools.  

For the most part, teachers in Maine have remained in the classroom, even if not all their students have returned. There were weeks here and there where localized outbreaks forced schools to hold classes strictly in a remote setting. But compared to other states, our teachers have gone above and beyond to remain in the classroom and to provide a quality education, especially for their most vulnerable students.  

In addition to teaching, teachers have been on the pandemic front lines as they have helped to keep students fed (both in and out of the building) as well as having to enforce social distancing and distribute personal protective gear. Their limits have been tested, as has their resolve. As we round the corner on 14 months of a coronavirus pandemic, it is clear that, despite the difficulties, teachers have endured.  

Teachers deserve appreciation every week, but this week is Teacher Appreciation Week. They deserve special recognition for their unwavering dedication to their students and their unrivaled professionalism in the face of a global pandemic.  

Their work has not gone unnoticed.  

We asked area students to draw their favorite teacher and they responded with some great works of art. In this week’s newspaper, you will see those drawings. 

This week, as the nation celebrates its teachers, let’s not forgot those around us.  

Teachers deserve our appreciation today and every day. Let’s show them some love.  

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