Fillmore County Journal
This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, and readers will find a section in this issue of the Fillmore County Journal that includes recognition of the fifth annual Teacher of the Year.
Stacy Fritz, ag teacher and FFA inspiration for students at Chatfield Public Schools, was named the 2021 Teacher of the Year. This is an award that our newspaper staff initiated five years ago to recognize our area teachers.
When you take a look at this section, you’ll see the names of teachers for each school district, along with which grades and/or subjects they teach. And, you’ll also see how many years they’ve been a teacher.
We’d like to thank each school administration for working with us to provide this information, so our area teachers could be recognized for their years of service.
In addition, we’d like to thank Teacher of the Year sponsors Drury’s Furniture, Ody’s Country Meats & Catering, and Harmony Foods, Preston Foods, and Rushford Foods. Thanks, also, to all of the businesses who supported the Teacher Appreciation Week Section.
This past year
Adaptation has been critical for the past 12 months, since the pandemic began to reshape our lives.
Students have had to learn how to interact with teachers from the other side of a computer screen. And teachers have had to learn how to teach in ways they had never had to consider when they chose this profession.
I have coached youth sports, taught Sunday school at church, and taught chess club at our school. And, I cannot imagine trying to teach students in an online environment. I’m a grown adult who can get easily distracted during Zoom calls. Take me back to my teens, and it would have only been worse.
In some cases, teachers have been teaching one group of students in the classroom while at the same time speaking to another group of students via a webcam with distance learning tools. It hasn’t been an ideal situation.
Imagine teaching band, for instance.
I was not a first chair trumpet player in middle school. I sat in the middle of the pack, and simply tried to stay in sync with our best trumpeters. How do you teach a band to play together when only half of the students can be present in the classroom at the same time? Impossible, if you ask me.
I commend our teachers for taking on these challenges over the past 12 months. I’m sure they are looking forward to a sense of normalcy just as much as the rest of us.