Teacher appreciation week rises to the challenge


Juliette Ciullo

More than ever, people are recognizing the importance of teachers. In a current world where many parents are educating their younger children, and older students are coping with a complete remodel of schooling, teacher’s significance in education cannot be understated. 
That’s why on the first week of May, Scotch Plains- Fanwood, Teacher Appreciation week was a smashing success, despite the current quarantine situation. Usually teams are involved, and activities are very interactive. Therefore, adjusting to the pandemic posed a challenge, but the online activities were plentiful, as quarantine has drastically reduced most people’s schedules. 
“When everyone is participating in the regular school year, others see those participants and join in, right now, I think the people that are participating always participate,” Assistant principal  Mrs. Esposito said.I know a lot of people get bogged down and the shame is, their email boxes fill up. They don’t open our emails, or they think to themselves: ‘I don’t have time to participate in these events.’ The thing is, that’s exactly when you should be participating in things like this.” 
Students are encouraged to make sure teachers are recognized for their efforts, and not just this week. 
“We can appreciate teachers by letting them know how much they help us grow,” Junior Mae Merkle said.  “We need to make sure that they know all they’re done for us, because I’m sure sometimes it’s a frustrating job, and the payoff isn’t always apparent. It’s our responsibility to let them know everything they do for us is valued.”
Mrs. Esposito has taken charge of this teacher appreciation week for Scotch Plains-Fanwood high school, and Monday began with a Pet Coworker picture contest, as well as a bingo game. The Pet coworker contest was inundated with the most endearing contestants, but only the top 5 (there was a three way tie, making it a top 7) p would go on to the second round. 
Tuesday teachers ate lunch during the virtual staff cafe, and later teachers joined for a virtual scavenger hunt. Objects included barbie dolls and cats. Every year SPFHS hosts this scavenger hunt, but because this year is virtual, the list was especially creative!
Dress to Impress day started on Wednesday as well as a game of Drawful, which is described as an online version of Boulderdash meets Win Lose or Draw. 
On Thursday, teachers gathered for a second round of the virtual staff cafe, and a challenging game of trivia. 
Friday, the day many were waiting for, finally revealed the prizes for the lucky winners of the week. 
“It’s important to appreciate our teachers because SPFHS is a school to be proud of, and we are lucky to have such dedicated teachers. That’s why we shouldn’t take them for granted.” Junior Sean Merkle said on the significance of teacher appreciation week. 
Although this week was all about appreciating teachers, Mrs. Esposito certainly deserves gratitude for all her hard work, as well as all educators out there!