National Teacher Appreciation Week: Tampa Bay educators given recognition after tough year


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — From virtual teaching to hybrid schedules, teachers have made many adjustments since the start of the pandemic.

Like many teachers, Katie Stallings, a second grade teacher at Tampa’s MacFarlane Park Elementary, has had to spend extra time planning as more kids learn from home while others are back in the classroom.

“It definitely has been a challenging year,” Stallings said. “Our biggest focus has been to have our kids be safe and to ensure that we’ve had to make a lot of changes with how we’re instructing and we have to think about our kids that are e learners and how are we keeping them part of our school community,” Stallings said. “”You have students who need to quarantine and you’re then doing the amount of lesson planning and you’re planning for the kids in your room and that doesn’t always transition to the E-learning at home, but you have to make sure they’re extra time planning for that.”

However, Stalling says some positive things came out of this unusual teaching year, including more parent participation, team planning and collaborating.

“I’m going to remember it as if you can make it through that you can make it through everything,” she said.

This week, Stallings and thousands of other teachers across the country will be recognized for their hard work. National Teacher Appreciation Week begins Monday and ends Friday.

In Pinellas County, a number of PTAs will deliver goodie bags, thank you cards and banners to teachers. Some will get a free lunch.

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