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1 Post authored by: Lena Darnay Champion

Teacher Appreciation 2020

 

Dear Pike Township Schools,

 

These are strange times we're in, unprecedented in so many ways. What isn't strange or unprecedented, however, is the dedication, creativity, and perseverance of the community of Pike Township schools in Indianapolis, Indiana. Trying to single out one person to appreciate would be like trying select the most beautiful spring flower or loveliest warm spring day. They are all using their wit, wisdom, and, now, Canvas to keep the lights shining in the lives of our students and community. 

 

Thank you to the teachers who had to transition their classroom prowess to the Canvas online platform. Your kind and personal videos, images, and messages to students make it a pleasure to click into your Canvas courses. The way you are embracing the online environment as a conduit to stay connected to your students is inspirational! By connecting virtually through Canvas conferences, video announcements, and personal messages, you are maintaining the classroom community and structure that our students are desperately missing right now. I know that you didn't sign up to be a full-time online teacher and that the technology is new and sometimes frustrating. You are doing such a great job of modeling grit and flexibility for our kids. Seriously, thank you. 

 

Thank you to our school counselors and social workers, special education professionals, physical and occupational therapists, and other support staff. You are finding so many ways to continue to reach out to our most vulnerable learners and keep them connected and supported. Those Canvas videos you make and share lift us all up! Creating school-wide Canvas announcements with virtual spirit days, motivational moments, and powerful reminders to keep going are not only helping the students, they are helping all of us! Thank you for reaching out to the students and staff via Canvas messages and announcements so they know when the Pike food pantry is open and the locations of our meal pick ups. You are literally feeding us mind, body, and soul. Seriously, thank you. 

 

Thank you to our school librarians. The depth of my appreciation knows no bounds when it comes to the literacy and technology support our Pike school librarians provide to our staff, students, and families. Utilizing the integration of our Destiny Library system into every Canvas course in the district, you have provided a portal into the best online resources, extensive library of on-demand eBooks and audio-books, and opportunities to inquire, wonder, and explore learning online from the safety of our homes. You are keeping us logged in, connected, and fully stocked with virtual field trips, STEM experiments, author visits, and, of course, reading material! The indispensable global nature of libraries is on full display with the Pike librarians. Seriously, thank you. 

 

Finally, thank you to our students and families. This work and learn from home situation is not ideal, but you are doing it. You are using our Canvas courses as not only a place for your kids to learn, but to find ways to help them learn. I have had the opportunity to work with many families as they set up their Canvas Parent accounts. Parents, siblings, families, I appreciate you as partners in this online teaching endeavor. I know you didn't sign up to be full-time teachers to your kids, but you're doing a great job. Your kids will remember these weeks with you for the rest of their lives. We all will. Seriously, thank you. 

 

I'm sure you can see why I can't single out just one educator during this unexpected time of innovation and creative problem solving. My appreciation isn't finished, I could go on about our administrators, technology team, facilities team, and all the other amazing people trying to make sure our Pike Township students are safe, healthy, well-fed, and well-taught during this time. Canvas has been an unbelievable asset to our efforts, and, therefore, I am also thankful for all the Canvas folks who help us keep the lights of learning turned on. I am humbled by the daily efforts of so many. Seriously, thank you. 

 

Seriously, Thank You (You're the Best!),

Lena Darnay

District Instructional Technology Specialist

Pike Township Schools, Indianapolis, Indiana

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