Appreciation for teachers at Mount Pleasant
By Nick Zacharias
PHOTO BY GENEVIÈVE BAGDIAN
Teacher and staff appreciation week looked a little different this year due to the pandemic
but the sentiment was clearly expressed by students and their families at Mount Pleasant
Elementary School in Hudson.
Teacher appreciation week is a tradition that dates back formally to at least the 1980s, but the spirit of it goes back as far as when the first apple found its way to a teacher’s desk in the days of the one-room schoolhouse. It’s a way for students and parents to give teachers and staff a pat on the back and to thank them for all their hard work. Elsewhere it commonly comes in the month of May, but around here it’s usually celebrated in February, when many would say a little boost is needed the most. This year, more than ever, teachers have faced incredible challenges and the Home and School Association for Mount Pleasant Elementary School in Hudson stepped up to show how much they are appreciated.
Wanted something special
“We really wanted to do something special because it’s been such a difficult year” said Cristina Capela, president of the Home and School Association. The only problem, she said, was that COVID-19 restrictions made it hard to do anything at all.
“The thing is parents aren’t supposed to come into the school because of all the protocols, which makes it kind of difficult,” reported Capela. Normally parents will pitch in to do a lot of baking and food preparation but this year they had to change gears and find a way to celebrate teachers and staff without crowding into the school to set things up.
Said Capela, “We decided to raise money to order lunches for them from LeBaron Catering Co. in Hudson, and parents donated chocolates and candy and bottles of wine. But the big thing was the posters – whole families participated and did up all these wonderful posters to thank the teachers for all they’ve done, and we were able to have just two volunteers waiting to collect them as parents dropped them off – they got them hung all along the fence at the front of the school for the teachers to see.”
PHOTO BY GENEVIÈVE BAGDIAN
Difficult to see in this photo but written on the paper is, ‘Our children may be the reason to drink, so please take a bottle.’
Jane Malone, who teaches Grade 6 at Mount Pleasant, said the teachers thought all of it was wonderful. “We didn’t really expect they’d be able to do anything but all week we had treats and coffee and they managed to cater in these individually packaged lunches for everybody so it was all done without needing a lot of contact. They also gave us gift cards for Mikko espresso & boutique – because teachers love coffee – so it’s great for us and they’re supporting local at the same time.”
But the highlight for her was the posters.
“We showed up for work one day and just thought, ‘What is that?!’ It was so touching. You could see some of them were 100 per cent made by students, and others the whole family got involved to say thanks. They were all amazing. It was just so cute and so nice that they took the time.” Malone said the pandemic has made it a tough year for teachers everywhere, and it’s great to feel appreciated. “We know, but it’s nice to hear.” The love from the students and their parents made the message loud and clear. Said Malone, “It’s really something special. It just goes to prove what I always say, Mount Pleasant is a small school with a big heart.”