CAPE CORAL, Fla — This past year during the pandemic we’ve seen teachers go the extra mile.
“We’re not just teachers, you know we’re the role of counselor, nurse, and their parents. There hasn’t been one day harder than the other for the pandemic. It's calmed me down as an educator to go with the flow, and realize you can't have things planned,” said Rayna Overmyer, a 5th-grade teacher at Laurel Oak Elementary.
However, this teacher appreciation week starting Monday has a more profound meaning to Rayna Overmyer.
“The parents the teachers, the students even were all going through it. I mean I think this was the biggest thing that none of us knew what was coming or how we were going to come out of it, or still coming out of it. I think that’s the biggest life lesson for these kids,” said Overmyer.
This year Overmyer says she’s taught her students something more than just their general education.
“This is like their safe zone, or at least this is like what my goal is as a teacher. Regardless of the pandemic or whatever this is their safe zone,” said Overmyer.
Playing so many roles, in many students' lives, Overymyer says teachers across Southwest Florida, took on a bigger challenge that many parents now appreciate.
“Just comments or letters and emails that come in, they're like we never understood how hard you guys have it, and it is hard. A lot of people say that teachers don't get paid enough but I think we didn’t go into it for that, we went into it for the care and teaching of our kids,” said Overmyer.
Lee County School District is also tipping their hats off to their teachers by saying,
“Our teachers are amazing. We cannot thank them enough for their hard work during a challenging year. They have remained focused on student achievement while providing a sense of normalcy and compassion to our students. We are sincerely grateful for everything they do," said Rob Spicker, Assistant Director, Media Relations & Public Information for Lee County School District.
However, Overmyer says, while this may be teacher appreciation week, the Southwest Florida community as a whole should appreciate each other for what we’ve been able to achieve in and outside of the classroom.
“ I think not just those that have a teaching certificate should be appreciated it should be the parents, it should be the grandparents, it should be the guardians it should be the aunts, uncles, it should be everybody the helped especially right now,” said Overmyer.