How I am celebrating teachers and empowering students

Image source: Adobe Stock / WavebreakMediaMicro.

By Nicholas Ferroni

Posted on 09-03-2020

Thursday, March 12, is a day that will forever be etched in my memory. It was the last day I got to see my students in the flesh before the school building was shut down due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. From that day on, our school went virtual and educators were forced to adapt — literally overnight. Teaching virtually is the toughest and most impersonal thing I have done in my 17-year educational career. I tried many things in April and May to allow my students to be creative, expressive, and even help them emotionally. I had students create informative TikTok videos, play virtual games, and practice virtual meditation. Some ideas worked great, and others … not so much.

Like many school districts, mine will continue with remote learning until at least October. Because of this, back-to-school preparations produced far more anxiety about the coming school year. But we are making it work, going above and beyond to ensure that our students and their families have everything they need to thrive under these surreal and unprecedented circumstances.

I wish I could hug every teacher and parent and comfort them because there are so many days I need a hug as well. During this time, we must work together and stay connected because we all face a learning curve. Fortunately, I am partnering with Adobe Education to produce content that highlights amazing resilience and creativity in teachers and students across the country.

The best teacher ever

I am a teacher — a qualified and capable teacher — but I can say with certainty that I am not the best, not in my building, my state, or even the country. This is why I have always used my unique platform and mild celebrity to shine a light on all the amazing educators and school staff who I call colleagues. I want to bring awareness to all the great work educators truly do. Often, behind most successful people stands a teacher who believed in and supported them when they needed it the most — so I’m especially honored to collaborate with Adobe on a campaign to celebrate the educators who have changed the lives of some high-profile individuals, from professional athletes to actors, executives, and industry leaders of all kinds. Together, we will create content to highlight teachers and school staff who have shaped the lives of individuals who, in turn, inspire and shape lives today.

Children’s art curated

Along with celebrating and recognizing educators, I enjoy nothing more than empowering and inspiring students. I am sure that most educators would agree, nothing brings us more joy than to see our students develop their passions to succeed and shine. Educators recognize the genius in every student as we celebrate and test their strengths. They are often more creative than they know!

When a professional art curator encourages their efforts, artists — children and adults — believe in their own potential. To highlight the gifts of some very young artists, I collaborated with world-renowned artist and art curator Danielle Krysa to share their inspiring work and receive affirmation that they are gifted far beyond their years.

This year is unlike any other, and it is safe to say that every teacher is a first-year teacher this year, but we are in the unique position to be as creative as we want to be and find unconventional ways to reach out to students. Let’s get inspired and inspire each other!

Topics: Insights & Inspiration, Creativity, Education, E-learning, COVID-19,