COLORADO SPRINGS — It's National Teacher Appreciation Week and News5 is shining a spotlight on educators in our community.
Teachers said this school year was even more challenging than last year, because they’ve had to adapt to so much with kids returning to the classroom full time. But this week is a time to say ‘thank you’ for their work.
“From lunches, to being greeted in the morning with little signs out front, in my class, I’ve received so many flowers, it’s been a really good week,” said Beth Young, a second grade teacher at Madison Elementary School in District 11. “l really feel like this week, parents are extremely thankful and they realize the hard work that we’ve done.”
Young says this year’s class is the first class to come back for a full school year after the pandemic, and it's been a challenge academically and socially getting them acclimated to being back.
“I think of my 25 years, this was my hardest year, and it's due to the students last year not being in class with us, not being able to be social,” said Young. “We’ve really had to revisit what it looks like to be friends, and how to get along with each other, and to bring each other up. I think that before we can even get into academic, we have to make sure socially and emotionally the kids are grounded.”
Before the pandemic and certainly now that things are getting back to normal, teachers have played such an important role in shaping the minds of children.
“It actually has been a little more challenging than fourth grade,” said Aeralyn Avolos, a fifth grader at Madison Elementary School. “One of my teachers always says to try your best the first time.”
Teachers are a big influence in a students’ life everyday, with hopes to help lead kids like Aeralyn to a bright future.
“I think it's just a very good week, and happy week, because we're just appreciating what our teachers do for us and how they help us,” said Avalos.
Teacher Appreciation Week is recognized on the first full week of may every year, and this week is about recognizing their work and dedication.
“It really solidifies the work that we're doing,” said Young.
There are nearly 1,800 teachers in District 11. This week, they've gotten lunch catered and a lot of thank you messages from kids and parents.