Recognizing Those Who Helped Get Us All Through

May 3, 2021

No one would argue that 2020 was the most devasting year that we can remember. I often found myself looking for glimmers of hope and rays of sunshine to get me through. I more often than not found myself looking at educators for a sense of reassurance that we would get through this tough time.

This week we honor educators, all types of educators, during Teacher Appreciation Week. It is a great honor that I get to call almost 1 million educators a part of the Council for Professional Recognition family.

This week also marks my first anniversary as CEO of the Council. When I stepped into this role, I have to be honest, I felt good about it. Having started my professional life in the classroom as an early educator, I know what it is like from day to day to be an educator and what to expect in the classroom. In fact, I have my Child Development Associate® (CDA) credential. I had ideas for what I could accomplish and how I could help support our growing number of educators, but what I quickly learned was they were the ones who were teaching me.

When the pandemic hit we quickly and thoughtfully organized the CDA® Advisory Committee to provide insights, perspectives and best practices to those facing what it means to teach amid the COVID-19 health crisis.

I have seen first-hand what educators have gone through and all they have accomplished. The have endured wearing masks with the youngest of children and not being able to hug their students—to helping students understand the definition of a pandemic. Yet through it all, they persevered with grace and honor. And not only did they persevere, but they went above and beyond; coming up with new and inventive ways to make students feel comfortable and safe.

The Chinese proverb says, give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” I honor all our teachers for relearning how to fish this past year in order to support our children. While we think about teachers and honor them this week, may I suggest we take more than just a week, as they certainly deserve it.

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