- April 29, 2020
The tables have turned for some Robert E. Willis Elementary School teachers.
The teachers became students during a flower arrangement class May 8 for Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week, May 4-8.
Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week is more unique than ever as parent-teacher organizations and families have found ways to show teachers and school staff members appreciation while maintaining a safe distance.
Kelli Roveto, the mother of Willis Elementary third grader Jackson and fifth grader James, had taken a flower arrangement class with Alice’s Table by Two Blooms and found it to be relaxing along with giving her a chance to bond with friends.
Roveto thought the class would be perfect for teachers, who are working hard at ensuring e-learning goes smoothly for their students while missing their time in the classroom. She reached out to other room moms at the school and organized a surprise class for 22 teachers May 8.
In a time where parents have become the teachers, many have realized how much work goes into educating students.
“I have two kids at home, so how they manage 22 is amazing,” Roveto said.
Robin Kornett, an event executive with Alice’s Table by Two Blooms, was excited to teach the teacher of her fourth grader, Jace.
“It’s so weird being on this side of teaching,” Kornett said to the teachers during the class. “I feel like I’m supposed to be asking questions about what I should be doing to help [my children] Jace and Johnny.”
Other schools found different ways to show their appreciation for teachers.
Families at Gilbert W. McNeal Elementary School made signs for their teachers and staff members and posted them in the courtyard.
Michelle Bennett went to the school with her pre-K student, Catalina, and kindergartner, Thiago, to place their homemade signs in the courtyard May 4. The sign was among dozens of others.
“With e-learning, we want them to know we love them and appreciate everything they’re doing for [the students],” Michelle Bennett said. “We know they miss their kids, and we wanted to show appreciation for all they do.”
Tara Elementary School families had car parades at the main entrance of the school every day from May 4-7 with an appearance from the East Manatee Fire Rescue on May 7.
“We all need to connect in some way,” said Sarah Colbath, Parent-Teacher Organization president at Tara. “For a lot of teachers, for instance fifth grade, they’re not going to see their kids again because they’re moving on to a new school. It means a lot because they are kind of seeing them for the last time.”
Braden River Elementary School posted signs saying, “An outstanding Braden River Elementary staff member lives here! Thank you for being amazing!” in the yards of its teachers and staff.