Many teachers and students feel disconnected due to the impacts of COVID-19. The National Honors Society (NHS) board and advisors felt it was important to connect teachers and students with one another even if it could not be in person. In response to the impacts of COVID-19, the NHS board made adjustments to the traditional teacher appreciation week by allowing students to reach out to teachers virtually.
“By having a virtual teacher appreciation week project, all NHS members were able to participate and convey how thankful they are for their teachers— I know that there are some teachers that have gone above and beyond for me during online school that I’m incredibly grateful for, and most other students have a teacher in mind as well,” said Lauren Garcia, senior.
The Athens Drive NHS completes 30 hours of service within the community each year. Some of these hours must include participation in teacher appreciation week. Due to the impacts of COVID-19, adjustments had to be made to the project for the 2020-2021 school year.
“We wanted teachers to know that there are actual students behind the screens they’ve been teaching to and that even when the students don’t say much, they are there, and they are listening,” said Lauren Latta, science teacher and NHS advisor.
COVID-19 prevented NHS from being able to have a service project for teachers in person. Instead, the members of NHS selected two teachers to reach out to. Students were required to create two 20-second videos thanking each teacher as well as sending in a picture of them holding an apple. Teachers also received treats and gift cards as another form of appreciation.
“We had a meeting with the board at school and discussed ways in which we could make this idea a reality. It took a little while to figure out the logistics, but our board was creative and diligent in making this happen. We couldn’t have done it without them,” said Latta.
The NHS board spent many hours communicating with each other, students and teachers bringing the project together. Once the videos and pictures had been submitted, close to a total of three hours was spent going over submissions and putting the presentations together. Although COVID-19 prevented them from meeting in person to plan and carry out projects, many felt that they were a huge success.
“This year NHS students definitely had to get creative with volunteer hours. While we might not be there to actually see the difference we’re making in the community, we’re able to make an impact and covertly touch a lot of lives,” said Garcia.