Teacher, you made a difference!

With appreciation for everything teachers have been through this spring.

It doesn’t matter if this was your first year teaching or your twenty-fifth year teaching. It just plain was the hardest year ever. Through the many teachers we work with, we heard stories. The stories were sad and heartbreaking and hopeful and inspiring. Please know, your work is appreciated. You may not get the thank you from the parents or from your students. But being a teacher is to leave your fingerprints on their hearts. And we know from working with you, you impact their lives.

Kindergarten, active learning, embodied learning, board games, remote learning, early childhood education, teachers, teacher appreciation

So many of you struggled to get in touch with children who didn’t have access to technology. Children who didn’t have a quiet corner to use in their home to be in touch with you. Children who felt unsafe with the adults in their homes. Children who were unable to come to a safe place that is your classroom. Children who were hungry. Children who were lonely. And your heart was hurt for them. You took in that reality that you were not in power to fix. In your classroom, you can make it safe for them all. You can make sure that no one bullies anyone. In your classroom, you set the bar for what a "family" really is – a kind and caring place. That’s what so many of your children are missing.

The pictures of teachers in driveways trying to be there in person are so poignant. It is difficult to imagine how much both student and teacher needed a hug at that moment. The same with seeing someone on a visual chat platform and not really being in person. It is just not the same and it is a painful reminder to both that it is not the same.

There is no answer in this message to you. There is no magic bullet. We have all lived through one of the worst experiences imaginable. It actually is unimaginable. However, here we hope to give voice to the appreciation we feel for what you have been through. Beyond learning social media tools, beyond not having access to the physical space that is your classroom home, beyond the frustration of being unappreciated in the press and by people who don’t have a clue what you have been through, beyond all of that is the very real loss of your physical class, your daily interactions with students and your life as you knew it. We wanted to give voice to that. We want to honor you for getting through all of that in this spring of distancing. And the fear of uncertainty in the fall.

Most of all, we want to say thank you for being a teacher. You do matter. You do make a difference. We do see all you do and appreciate who you are. This generation will definitely have scars. The children coming through this past spring will have scars. It will be a teacher who will pick up the pieces and help heal those wounds. And we believe in your ability, skill and most of all your heart and soul to make it happen for your students and through them, for you to heal as well.

Thank you from all of us at Kinems!

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