Hometown Heroes | Teachers

Life is Good on Main Street
July 1, 2022
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July 1, 2022

Kindergarten students sitting on the floor listening to teacher

All of us can remember one or more teachers who made a difference in our lives, someone who took the time to encourage us, tutor us, help us get past the hurdles and find the open doors to our future. Educators are our everyday heroes. They work tirelessly to make learning engaging, exciting, and relevant. At the core of their work is a desire to give our future generations hope.

Being an educator in today’s world can be challenging. Teachers not only are expected to meet the basic requirements of their job, but they are also expected to be nurses, mental health experts, social workers, security, janitors, and sometimes even parents for their students. That sentence doesn’t even fully begin to explain what teachers really do. 

It’s more than just the hours you see them inside the classroom. Teachers work long hours, up early preparing for classes, on their feet most of the day, grading papers and writing lesson plans late into the night, often spending their own money to help their students and worrying about their students long after that child moves on to another grade. Add to this the extracurricular activities they often sponsor or support: sports events, performances, contests, parties and dances. They are almost always underpaid and too often underappreciated.

Teachers became our pandemic heroes as we adjusted to a new way of life in 2020 and 2021. Many made drastic adjustments, learning new skills to teach remotely using Zoom, putting lessons in Google classrooms, and trying to be sure everyone had what they needed to complete the next assignment. Others took on the risk of exposure in order to teach classes in person, placing themselves and their families at risk. As we returned to the classroom in 2021, new rules and regulations on social distancing and mask wearing were just one more thing to be implemented to keep everyone safe and back inside the classroom. 

Then along came Hurricane Ida. 

Not only did our teachers all take on the stress of their own homes and communities being damaged and destroyed, and their families being displaced, they took on the stress of not being able to return to their own classrooms, and the loss of their sense of school pride. For many schools across our districts, platooning became the name of the game. Our teachers rallied and supported our children through their own struggles to make it through to the end of another very difficult year. 

But the difficult year didn’t stop there. 

On May 24, 2022, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos fatally shot nineteen students and two teachers and wounded seventeen other people at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. While this tragedy unfolded in another state, we were again reminded of the potential dangers we are asking our teachers and educators to take on. In Terrebonne Parish School District, the school year ended with an increased police presence in all of their schools. 

We are forever grateful to the teachers and administrators that overcome the challenges given to them to constantly place our children first.