This week we celebrated National Teacher Appreciation Week — a week that has taken on a whole new meaning this year with Missouri schools closing due to coronavirus.
This health crisis has posed many challenges, and our children’s education is no exception. To slow the spread of the virus, the governor announced in April our schools would remain closed for the rest of the academic year, requiring students to practice distance learning from home and many parents becoming teacher’s assistants. This has not been an easy feat, and admiration for teachers is — rightfully — at an all-time high.
Teachers are some the most passionate and inspiring people you could ever hope to meet. They have the ability to make lasting imprints on their students’ lives and help them become the people we know they can be. By dedicating their lives to educating our children for the sake of the greater good, they help to ensure the next generation is ready to go out into the world and make it better for all of us. They give students the tools they need to excel in areas of strength and offer help in areas that don’t come quite as easily.
While classrooms are closed, educators have continuously come up with innovative ways to support their students and make sure they don’t fall behind. From driving by students’ houses to give them a wave and check in from a safe distance, to spending hours on the computer teaching virtual lessons, their dedication is unwavering. In rural parts of Missouri without stable broadband, like my hometown, teachers are preparing packets with a week’s worth of lessons that are delivered and picked up on a weekly basis.
These incredible efforts are another sign of our communities working together and for one another as we beat the virus, but we all look forward to seeing our teachers at school in the fall and thanking them in person for being such invaluable members of our communities and our children’s lives.
As the school year begins to wind down, the rest of Missouri is starting to safely reopen. Offices and stores are able to get back to business as usual and employees are able return to work to support their families. While it will take some work, I have no doubt we can get Missouri’s economy back to where it was prior to the coronavirus. Discussions continue with president’s task force to reopen the economy, and I will keep doing everything in my power to get Missouri humming along again. As we reopen, please remember to remain vigilant about your health and mindful of those who are at risk. And as always, if my office can be helpful in any way, please give us a call.
Blaine Luetkemeyer is the congressman for Missouri’s 3rd congressional district, which includes Callaway County.