Teacher Appreciation Week

Much has changed about the world of education these past 8 weeks, but one thing has not changed. The incredible Jenison Public Schools staff has continued to show their gigantic hearts, tenacious spirits and attitudes of perseverance.

From day 1 of the COVID-19 closure, our amazing teachers and staff have been working hard to stay connected to their students. The interruption to our face-to-face instruction has served to reveal how much our students mean to our teachers and vice versa. JPS teachers are “all in, all of the time” meeting the needs of their students. I am grateful to know and work with extraordinary teachers and staff who care so deeply.

Even with Remote Learning Plans engaged, Teacher Appreciation Week was still something to celebrate! It was fun to see different schools, parent clubs and students showing their love and appreciation last week in different ways.

On Friday, El Puente teachers stopped by school to pick up gifts from the Parent Club. Little did they know, many EP families were just down the road staging a surprise parade of appreciation!

Bauerwood teachers were recognized with a pretty sweet, socially distanced visit. Handmade signs and donuts were delivered to every Bauerwood staff member last week.

It was an awesome opportunity for schools to partner with and support our local businesses as well. Cards with gift certificates to The WIN and Palermo’s Pizza were mailed. Books and Biggby gift cards were speaking a teacher’s love language. A lunch time pizza parade with Lombardo’s Pizza provided a gift to make teacher tastebuds happy too!

Throughout the week, many of the schools were recognizing their teachers with ‘shout outs’ via social media and inviting students to join the fun. Students were busy sending their love with video messages, drawings, poems, letters, silly dances and making music! Some families even sent some home baked goodies to show their appreciation. No matter what ‘THANK YOU’ sounded or looked like last week, it never seems enough for the superheroes that are our JPS teachers and staff!

THANK YOU Jenison Public Schools teachers for the amazing job you do, day in and day out! #JPSBeRelentless

JPS Teachers Rock!

Across the country, teachers are being celebrated with Teacher Appreciation Week and National Teacher Day! At JPS we know that our greatest assets are our amazing teachers and the passion, creativity, and knowledge they bring to their classrooms each day. Sandy Hill Principal, Jon Mroz, appreciates the time set aside for this important acknowledgement. “Teacher Appreciation week provides the opportunity to say the extra “thank you’s” that are sometimes difficult to get to during the busy times of the school year.  I can think of many examples at Sandy Hill where teachers step right in to help because they see the importance of supporting all students, staff, and families around the building.”

We all know that our teachers work hard to teach the curriculum and do everything they can to help students achieve their academic goals, but teachers at JPS [and around the world!] are doing so much more as well. “The staff at Sandy Hill are extremely hard working and I can think of many examples where they may help a student in the hallway, on the playground, or anywhere in the building, even when that student is not in their “homeroom.” We have a focus that all students at Sandy Hill are our students, and every adult is responsible for helping every student grow. A couple of very specific stories [from a very long list]  when teachers are going above and beyond are: providing their own gloves or coats to a student when their hands were cold, bringing in or buying clothing for a student in need, buying snacks for students in need, reaching out to and partnered with community members to figure out ways to reward/recognize students, and donating or finding ways to get items donated for families’ daily needs.”

Because we all learn better in a positive, supportive, holistic environment, our students excel when our teachers are aware of and devoted to their students overall well-being. Mr Mroz adds, “There are many examples at Sandy Hill when students experienced an immense amount of positive change because of their amazing teacher[s]. Many students have not only shown tremendous growth academically, but socially and emotionally as well. It is always rewarding to see the gains a child can make with their confidence both in and out of the classroom resulting from the connection they have made with their teacher.”

If you are appreciative of the work your child’s teacher is doing, you know a teacher in your neighborhood, or you are living proof of the devotion of a teacher, it is always a great time to say, “THANK YOU”! As a former teacher and current administrator, Mr. Mroz knows the impact of these not-so-simple words. “The “Thank You’s” go along way to teachers as well, so they can have the reminders of the positive impact they are leaving, and it also models the gratitude we try to instill on our students as well.”

[This writer would like to kick things off by saying “thank you” to my high school English teacher, David R. Harchick, who taught me to love literature, not be afraid to critique writing even when it’s a classic, be the best I can be, and to never fix my hair or makeup in public.]

Additionally, Mr. Mroz recommends to parents that they keep the lines of communication with teachers open. “Students and parents can also show their appreciation by having open lines of communication with teachers. This allows teachers to have as much knowledge possible about their students to meet each students’ individual needs.”

To our incredible JPS teachers we want to remind you that the work you do is valuable beyond measure, even if you can’t see it right away. “Many times, the impact you make is not going to be seen until a students’ time in your classroom is done. It is compared to watering a seed a little bit at a time, until one day, the student begins to make personal connections that creates relevancy, and they begin to grow and flourish.”

Thank you, teachers, for all you sacrifice for our students and the ways they flourish because of your dedication. May you always remember,
“One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” — Malala Yousafzai