The coronavirus pandemic forced the closing of schools across the country in 2020, sending home over 55 million k-12 students and around 4 million teachers for the remainder of the year. However, amid the trying time with a number of new challenges, a newfound appreciation for educators across the country came into play – with a survey of 2,000 parents by OnePoll and Osmo finding that 80% have a newfound respect for their children’s educators – thus highlighting the importance of teacher appreciation all year round.
Newfound challenges to overcome
With teachers and students sent home to partake in remote learning, the pandemic brought a whole new set of challenges to the job of teaching, including learning how to keep the attention of (and teach) a class online, technical difficulties, chaotic schedules, and more, bringing stress to many. In fact, 43% of teachers who ended up quitting their jobs cited stress both before and after the pandemic, according to a RAND Corp. survey.
The importance of teacher appreciation
Due to the myriad of challenges that teachers have had to overcome in the past year, teacher appreciation has come to have a new meaning, highlighting the need for more than just one week dedicated to our educators. For such reasons, educators are being recognized in a number of ways.
For example, students from the MBA and PhD programs at Stanford have chosen to recognize Rebecca Lester and Anne Beyer for going above and beyond in such trying times, and Johnathan Levin, the Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean of Stanford GSB notes that “Becky and Anne are inspiring teachers who found creative ways to engage their students in a virtual environment in the past year.”
However, businesses across the nation are also showing their appreciation for teachers in other ways, with many offering discounts or freebies to teachers for their bravery in facing the challenges brought on by the pandemic. For example, companies such as the Home Loan Expert are saying ‘thank you’ to education professionals by designing a teacher loan program.
The program was designed to make the home purchase process easier for educators, and an added bonus is a $500 gift card to aid in paying for classroom supplies and other needs. Needless to say, offers like this will greatly help teachers financially, especially when an impressive 94% of US teachers spend their own money on school supplies, according to one survey.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought a number of new challenges to educators in the United States, particularly when it comes to learning to navigate online education and the consequent challenges that follow. Undoubtedly, this has left many showing their appreciation for educators across the nation, with public recognition and rewards being more than deserved.