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LETTER: Thank you to teachers, school staff, who did so much more this year

"You helped my children to become better people in the midst of a pandemic, and I am eternally grateful."

This is a letter to my children's teachers and school staff.

As we approach the end of the school year, I've realized that a Starbucks card just isn't going to cut it this June. Unfortunately, skywriting is a little out of the budget, so I would like to take this opportunity, and any others offered, to say, "Thank you."

I cannot imagine how stressful and complex your jobs were this year, but I hope you know your efforts were incredibly appreciated by my family and many others.

My children learned so much from you this year, and I am not talking about the actual curriculum. They learned about being brave in September, when you welcomed them back to school with reassurance in your eyes and warmth in your voices. There were so many unknowns at that time about how much you were risking, just by showing up to the classroom, but you never let my kids see this and instead made it exciting for them to be among their peers again.

My children learned an incredibly valuable lesson about resiliency from how you modelled it through the ever-changing landscape of this pandemic. They learned about flexibility. They learned about using humour to get through difficult situations. They learned about tenacity and patience when you calmly told them (for the millionth time) to “log out and then log back in again” as their screens were glitching during online learning.

Most importantly, my kids felt cared for at school. When they were struggling, somehow you managed to support them through that, too. Every time I told one of them not to panic, that their school would have a plan to deal with whatever new complexity arose, you proved me right.

Thank you. Yes, our grocery clerks were heroes this year, and so were the nurses who worked in ICUs. But you helped my children to become better people in the midst of a pandemic, and I am eternally grateful.

Kellie Waters Sutcliffe, Sturgeon County


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