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Teachers across our hometowns offer words of encouragement to fellow teachers and families

Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 4:33 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Over the last several weeks, WDBJ7 has visited lots of schools and talked to teachers and staff about the upcoming school year.

Each educator was full of hope, despite the fact that the 2021 school year has given them, their students and their students’ parents a run for their money.

“You just don’t know what’s coming around the corner,” Geoff Boyer, a Craig County teacher, said.

If there’s one thing people have had to be, it’s flexible.

“This year, everyone is a new teacher,” Craig County Superintendent Jeanette Warwick said. “We’re all learning. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve taught, we’re all new.”

But adaptability is the key to success as a teacher.

“Teachers want to do a good job,” Brian Mott, the director of Virtual Virginia, said. “Teachers want to be good teachers. I think we kind of underestimated them at the beginning thinking this is going to be a steep learning curve, which it is, but when you want to be good at your job, you can make that learning curve go a lot quicker.”

“As a teacher you have to be adaptable and flexible and we’ll do whatever it takes to keep them safe,” Roanoke County 2nd grade teacher Deede Clifford said.

And teachers around our hometowns are encouraging everyone that we will get through this together.

“We are preparing for any possible situation that there is, but we’re just so happy to be back,” Lauren Peters, 5th grade teacher at Fort Lewis Elementary in Roanoke County said.

“I just think this is a great opportunity no matter what, if it’s virtual whatever,” Joy Watson, 2nd grade teacher at Fort Lewis Elementary in Roanoke County said.

“CCPS Strong to me means we’re going to get through this,” Warwick in Craig County said. “We’re going to band together as a staff and faculty and we’re going to remain strong through this.”

“Just knowing that the other teachers around the school,” Boyer said. “I mean they can do anything. It’s really cool.”

“It was the most emotionally taxing to prepare for so when we saw the kids and they were so happy to be here it just made everything worth it,” Radford City’s Belle Heth Elementary principal Tara Grant said about the first day of school. “It was just awesome so we’ve already been successful.”

“What is your biggest hope for this school year, the unprecedented school year that it is?” WDBJ7′s Katey Roshetko asked Fort Lewis principal Kim Smith.

“To make it a good experience,” she said. “To foster an environment where children want to come to school and are happy to be here and they staff are happy to be here. Because with those two things, learning is going to come.”

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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