Erin Ryan

A thank you note, from six feet away

Blog Post created by Erin Ryan on May 4, 2020

Like most of our beloved spring traditions, Teacher Appreciation Week will look different this year. Add it to the ever-growing list of small griefs and moments that are lost, without warning. But it didn’t feel right to let this special week fall to the wayside. So, while you can’t celebrate another year of a job well done alongside your colleagues and students, we want to extend our gratitude. 


Thank you for leaving extra room in your heart for our kids. You take on the emotional labor that comes with loving so fiercely and without reservation. You see them, root for them, celebrate them, and fight for them. They are “your kids” too, and it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Thank you for sharing your limitless imaginations with us. You are truly innovators, doing more with less and not letting technical or geographical limitations stop you from keeping your students connected and engaged. From online conversations, to home visits through glass doors, to parades of cars driving through neighborhoods—you are there. You are a constant in a world that is anything but. You are an unstoppable force for good in a scary, worrisome time. Your work makes their day. That makes ours.



While we cheer for doctors, nurses, and medical teams out of our windows each night, know we’re cheering for you too. We ring the bell for our heroes on the home front, who rearranged the entire educational system almost overnight. We honor you as you are still planning, still teaching, still connecting, and still leading during an international crisis. We don’t know how you do it. And you do it all with families and concerns of your own.



We grieve alongside you for a school year unfinished. Goodbyes unsaid. For a safe place indefinitely closed, for kids who may be hungry or on their own during the day. We miss “normal”, whatever it was. But in moments of optimism, we imagine what recovery will look like. We know it will come. We know the world won’t feel “right” until you’re back in your classroom.



This Teacher Appreciation Week won’t look like the others. It may be quiet, or more reflective. It may be celebrated with more emoji than usual, maybe even a meme or two. But one thing it won’t do is go unnoticed. Because the work you do is essential and worthy of celebration. This virus can change a lot of things, but we won’t let it change that.

From all of us at Show of Hands: thank you, thank you, thank you.