While summer is a time for kids to have fun, sleep in and play outside, it’s often a time educators worry about due to the “summer slide”. Also, when we consider the reopening of schools, the effects of summer slide pose greater challenges than ever before.
All of our schools have now officially finished instruction for the 2019-20 year and what a finish to the year it was. I know I have said this before, but I want to thank you again for everything you did to help your children – our children – complete the school year during this unconventional time.
To honor the perseverance of our seniors, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has produced “Kentucky’s Tribute to the Class of 2020,” a one-hour program that will be streamed on the department’s special YouTube channel at 7 p.m. ET this Saturday, May 23.
As the head of public higher education in Kentucky, I’m usually asked to deliver at least one commencement address each May. If I were giving one this year, I’d probably start by offering both my congratulations and condolences.
As this school year draws to a close, I’d like to thank you on behalf of KDE staff and the education profession for your assistance in ensuring Kentucky students continued to learn during the extraordinary circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand the pressures you are facing as you balance caring for children, helping them learn and, in many cases, continuing your own work.
With all that has happened in the closing weeks of this school year, you may not want to think about what the next school year will look like for your children just yet. That’s certainly understandable given that we have all been working so hard to complete this year under extraordinary circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 emergency.
May is always a special time of the year in education because that’s when we celebrate national Teacher Appreciation Week, which this year is being celebrated May 4-8.
There are times when merely saying thank you doesn’t seem to be enough and this is certainly one of those times. We pause each year at this time during National Teacher Appreciation Week to express our gratitude for the important work you do.
In Kentucky, when someone asks you, “How are you doing?” saying, “I’m fine” is almost a reflex action. These days, however, it’s almost certainly not true. I think it’s safe to say that none of us has truly been fine in the weeks since the COVID-19 pandemic changed all of our lives – and that’s fine.
In honor of the 2020 National Teacher Appreciation Week, Kentucky Teacher of the Year Erin Ball sends an open letter to all of the Commonwealth's educators to thank them for their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic.