Where would we be without our teachers? OECS educators (teachers and principals) have navigated unparalleled challenges over the past year. It has been an unprecedented and difficult period. The whole world has had to adjust to learning outside the classroom across distributed modalities by transitioning lesson plans, teaching materials and student assessments to, in some cases, strictly an online resource. All this while dealing with the requirements of an unchartered space with student attendance and motivation being high on the list of demands.
In addition to these difficulties, you have had to deal with the consequences of COVID-19 on your family and personal life. Many educators and critical staff are juggling the demands of teaching, working, and parenting at the same time. But through all of this, teachers’ accomplishments in the OECS have been tremendous. Similar can be said about many principals and other educators who support our teachers.
Our teachers have also developed innovative ways to use the current limited resources and tools available to them. They have been the major catalysts for change and transformation in and out of the classroom. While teaching may look different now, the dedication and care of teachers and their families are a valued part of our region’s education system. The region has been inspired more than ever by your resilience, passion, and creativity.
Thank you to our teachers who serve on the frontline of the education system. Thank you to the teachers of the OECS for keeping our children safe, keeping them engaged and learning and for reaching out to students and their families urging them to show-up. There have been many obstacles to overcome, and there will be more in the future. We are impressed and thankful for the efforts, inspiration and inventiveness of teachers across the OECS region.
There is much more to be done to meet the rigorous requirements of remote learning. There is much to be done to provide the help students may need as they recover from the obstacles the pandemic has introduced. There is much to be done to help build the resilience of teachers to withstand the repercussions of disasters and emergencies. But teachers will press on, as they always do. The lessons they have learned and the innovations pursued will continue to be of value.
On this occasion of International Teacher Appreciation Day, the Education Development Management Unit of the OECS Commission extends a heartfelt thank you to educators! We thank you for your hard work, for your resilience in exploring unfamiliar waters together. The pandemic has presented you and your students with a number of trials. You've had to pursue new strategies for teaching and remaining closely involved with your students in a virtual world.
To all teachers of the OECS, the Caribbean and the wider world, we celebrate you! We salute you! We say Thank You!