Hello Hayhurst families,
I hope that you have all been enjoying our school community as much as I have been this year. Whether it’s seeing the way parents help our kids have safer lunches and give teachers longer breaks by volunteering at lunchtime or gathering together at Trick or Trunk, it has been a warm welcome back to a more normal school year. And I can’t thank you all enough for the financial support for the Parent Teacher Association. Together, we can do more fun things!
But while the school year might feel more normal for us parents, it’s pretty clear that it’s not been normal at school. The staffing shortage has left positions unfilled and the district short on substitute teachers. Kids are not used to being at school and playing catch up from last year. And COVID is still with us – our teachers and staff are having to teach in different ways and spaces, maintain distance, uphold special rules, and do more work to keep our kids and themselves safe. A recent article in Portland Monthly with the President of the Portland Association of Teachers opened my eyes, and I highly recommend every grown-up read it. What really got me: over 1000 of the 2861 teachers surveyed are thinking of taking leave or resigning. And I am sure it’s been hard on school administrators and support staff, too.
Of course, we love our teachers and staff and want them to feel good at work. We at the PTA will be doing a few special things in the month leading up to winter break, and we also urge our families to think of ways to be supportive and show gratitude. At my house, we had a talk about what it means to go easy on a teacher – listening, being kind to other students, ignoring distractions, etc. As a former teacher, I still treasure the notes that I got from students and parents. So, if you have an idea for brightening the days of teachers and staff at Hayhurst, make it happen! And if you want my help or want to take it bigger than just your kid or classroom(s), give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will see below a bunch of ways that you can plug in with our school community. Please take a look and see what can work for you? We’d love your help.
Here’s to showing the love,
First Grade Mom, Illinois St. Neighbor, and your new(ish) PTA President