TEACHERS in the West Midlands have been praised for their response to the coronavirus crisis.
New research reveals nearly eight in ten parents in the region had a greater appreciation for teachers, as more than one in five admitted they previously rarely considered the role teachers played in society
The research, by the Department for Education’s Get into Teaching campaign, also found three quarters of parents believed teachers had gone “above and beyond” during the lockdown restrictions.
Based on their experience supporting home education, nearly all of parents in the West Midlands agreed that being a teacher requires a lot of patience (95 per cent), and keeping young people engaged in learning takes a lot of creativity (93 per cent).
Craig Smith, a PE teacher at a Birmingham school, said: “It really is humbling to hear that so many parents are feeling so appreciative of our efforts. Being a teacher always allows you to make a real difference in the world, but I’ve felt a heightened sense of purpose during these extraordinary circumstances.
“School leaders, teachers and staff have pulled together in hugely challenging circumstances to keep schools open for those who need it the most and find innovative and creative ways to support our pupils.
“We try to ensure there is regular contact between the school, pupils and their families so everyone is supported in these unprecedented times.
“A few examples of this are teachers setting work for pupils to complete at home, keeping our community classroom open for children of key workers and, each week, we have been preparing and delivering food and equipment parcels for any of our families wanting some extra support.
“I’ve been touched by the heart-felt messages of support and “thank yous” from pupils, parents and the wider community – it’s created stronger bonds between us all and has helped keep me motivated over the last few weeks.”
Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb also praised the efforts of teachers.
He said: “Teachers, head teachers and support staff have shown outstanding professionalism and commitment during these challenging times.
“They are doing an incredible job in finding innovative ways to continue young people’s education at home, be it through online lessons, set work or motivating phone calls with pupils.
“Now as we prepare for more young people returning to school, and as the country takes careful steps towards recovery, teachers and support staff are playing a vital role in ensuring children continue their education in these unprecedented times.”
* Using the hashtags #HowWillYouSayThankYou and #ThankATeacher, pupils and their families are being asked to come up with their own creative messages of thanks to celebrate their teachers and wider school staff, for example by singing songs, reading poems and recording video clips.
An inspirational teacher makes all the difference. Find out how to share your appreciation for a teacher you know by visiting thankateacher.co.uk