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Teacher Appreciation Week: Going the extra mile

Posted at 11:34 PM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 23:34:58-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Maria Rose, first grade teacher at Edison Park Elementary invited a guest to read to her students Monday morning.

“It took me a long way to get down her from outer space,” read a man dressed in a Darth Vader costume.

It was her husband Mr. James Rose. The teaching duo explained some difficulties students are having with virtual learning.

“They say it over and over. This morning was a real challenge just getting them started, because they want to be at school,” said Mr. Rose.

But, the Golden Apple teachers are helping their students get through it together. Mr. Rose said the Darth Vader gear keeps his fourth graders at Ray V Pottorf Elementary School engaged, too.

“They still feel the connection to crazy Mr. Rose,” he said.

Mrs. Rose gave her students a special treat to bring her along their quarantine ride. All inspired by the book flat Stanley, she mailed students a paper cut-out of herself, and they took her everywhere they went.

“I went on bike rides. I played with their dogs. I did their homework. You got read to,” she said.

Another familiar face for the tenth graders at South Fort Myers High School is Ms. Bonnie Cunard.

She said now virtual learning gives her a better peek into her students personalities, too.

“They show off their bedrooms, and their cool walls of pictures,” she said.

During this unique time, she’s learning to teach her English and Debate classes with even more compassion.

“We have families where our students, like our high school students are the essential workers in the family, so they might be the only one in the family working,” she said.

She’s teaching her students to give each other that same compassion, all while preparing them for the real world.

“We’ve been debating a lot of these topics. Re-opening Florida and things like that,” she said.

Whether it’s first grade or tenth, there’s something all three of these superstar teachers have in common. They can’t wait to get back into the classroom with their students.

Tuesday is officially Teacher Appreciation Day. Lee County parents and students can email their teachers a thank you note. or go outside at noon and shout a “thank you” cheer for their favorite teachers.