Celebrating Bedford’s Teachers During National Teacher Appreciation Week

The title frame from a short video produced at Davis School – Click the link in the body of the story to watch it


It would have been impossible to predict how National Teacher Appreciation Week 2020 could be more different than those in years past. Classroom rituals are all new on Zoom calls, everyone is at home and social distancing in place.

Bedford’s educators held an in-service about distance learning on Friday, March 13, and set about conjuring class plans and learning how to use Zoom. Now, more than two months in, online learning is in place from the earliest grades through AP classes at BHS.

Click this link to watch Davis School’s teacher appreciation video

It is indeed the year to celebrate Bedford’s educators, and several people had thoughts to share:

JoAnn Santiago
Chair, Bedford School Committee

Bedford is fortunate to have wonderful teachers in our schools.  I am grateful for the caring, the passion, the dedication, and the creativity of our educators as they create a rich learning environment and engaging extracurricular activities for students.

This year, the abrupt transition to remote learning has challenged teachers, students, and families alike.  The way teachers have risen to the task is impressive. I hope the community will join me in thanking them for their work!

Jon Sills
Superintendent, Bedford School Department

If necessity is the mother of invention, commitment, collaboration, and compassion are the engines of the loving education that our teachers are creating in the midst of this pandemic.

Guided by their concern for their students’ mental and emotional health during this time of social isolation, and of the need to teach essential concepts and skills, our teachers are themselves often managing highly stressful home working conditions to do the best that they can to provide their students with what they need.

I have never been so proud as I am presently by how our teachers and counselors have risen to this occasion, moving immediately and without complaint to a way of delivering instruction that was totally outside of their wheelhouses, let alone their imaginations.

Our teachers, counselors, instructional coaches have invented, and with our teaching assistants and building subs have implemented live Zoom class meetings, small group meetings and one on one interventions; virtual office hours, online snack chats and lunch groups; weekly work assignments and daily written and oral feedback; counseling sessions and special education supports; videotaped greetings and lectures, virtual field trips, cooking classes, and more…

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week everyone.  You are truly remarkable.

Beth Benoit
Principal, Eleazer Davis Elementary School

Words can’t describe the feelings of pride and awe that I have for the teaching staff which includes teachers, counselors, specialists, related service providers, educational assistants, and teaching assistants.

The work they did in a short period of time to keep the important relationships alive for children is heartwarming. This includes the relationships between children as well as the relationships between staff and children.

They quickly learned new technology and online platforms and worked to teach children and families about these platforms from a distance.  They inspire creativity, innovation, and balance.  It is amazing to watch them teach new concepts and provoke students to find materials in their own environment to help them learn.

Even with a computer screen between them and limited school materials at home, our staff found ways to connect the routines from school into the remote learning plan for the children.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week and thank you for all you do for the children.

Rob Ackerman
Job Lane Elementary School

Our staff has been incredible during this crisis.
They transitioned to online learning without any substantive time to prepare. All coordination and collaboration needed to be done remotely, while also taking care of their own families.

Plans were put in place to address the needs of our most vulnerable learners, including counseling, speech, occupational therapy, and teaching English to students coming from non-English speaking homes and backgrounds.

I can’t thank them enough….truly great work by our staff.

Kevin Tracey
John Glenn Middle School

Never have I been so proud to work alongside such caring and dedicated educators.  This current situation is clearly testing all of our resolve (and patience), and not surprisingly, in the context of this crisis, the JGMS staff has once again stepped up and shined beyond expectations.

This collective effort, and its impact on kids, is expansive and sincere.  While managing our own personal and family responsibilities, JGMS staff have consistently prioritized students’ emotional well-being while providing learning that is meaningful and appropriate.  This can not be understated.  The incredible service which you provide our children AND their families is real and makes a difference.  Over the past month, parents have sent me innumerable emails stating that the _[‘any one’]_ team, my child’s teacher, my child’s counselor has “saved” my son or daughter during this terrible time.  They state that their child “lights up” and that the moments when students are able to hear from or connect with their teachers is the “best part of their day”.

I realize that nobody goes into education to be appreciated.  Yes, teaching can be wonderfully rewarding.  It can also be a grueling, thankless job where one often needs to dig deep intrinsically and find that reward and motivation to sustain us across our career.

As you prepare this week’s remote lesson, hold your umpteenth zoom discussion, send that kind email or make that important phone call to a family’s home, know that I am impressed by your consistently thoughtful approach to this important work and with all of the support you provide our children, our families and one another.

Happy National Teacher Appreciation week!  I hope you and your families are well.

Heather Galante
Bedford High School

I am inspired by educators every day, and especially inspired by my colleagues at Bedford High School.

The educators at Bedford High School are experts in their content areas and care about the connections they make with their students.  Those strong relationships are the difference-maker, as they find themselves navigating the new normal of remote learning.

Our teachers ache to see their students again in their classrooms and are going to great lengths to make sure that students are cared for and supported in so many ways.

I often say that I am privileged to work with such talented, dedicated and compassionate teachers.  My admiration for them has grown immensely during this pandemic.

Thank you to our BHS teachers and to all educators in our district.  You are appreciated and certainly some of the unsung heroes during this pandemic.

Keep our journalism strong! Support The Citizen Journalism Fund today. Contact The Bedford Citizen: editor@thebedfordcitizen.org or 781-430-8827

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