By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
It’s no shock that teachers will be facing an enormous number of challenges during this upcoming school year. In adapting to teaching virtual classes, changing their classroom organization and protocol to support social distancing, and even ensuring the safety of their students, teachers are facing a test for which they’ve had very little time to prepare. With this in mind, students and parents took time on Tuesday, September 8, to recognize staff at all eight Needham Public Schools.
As teachers drove up to each of their respective schools for their meetings, they were greeted by crowds of enthusiastic parents and students. At Needham High School, students waved pom-poms in the air, while others held signs they had crafted with words of encouragement on poster board and cardboard. “Thank you NPS Staff + Teachers,” read one sign written in gold and blue.
Mike and Ellen Evans came out in the early morning to support teachers and staff. Mike held a flag with the Needham High School logo on it, while Ellen held up a sign that said “Thank you,” decorated with a red apple. “We just want to thank all the teachers, and administrators, and staff for all the hard work they're doing, both in the spring and preparing for this unprecedented time of education,” explained Mike.
“We know how much blood, sweat, and tears goes into the craft, and we’re really grateful,” added Ellen.
Students were excited to rally for their favorite staff members. High school students who waited by the entrance welcomed each staff member back and asked them how their summers were. Some students even took the time to joke with their favorite teachers, a reminder that though the school year will be anything but ordinary, there are some things that will just click back into normal routine.
Sophomores Liam Salerno and Brendan Mawhinney joined the early morning crowd to show their support for their school teachers. “I really just wanted to support our teachers and the people who are helping to do everything for this year,” said Salerno.
“We’re basically here to support them and say ‘Hey, we’re backing you up, guys. We’re here for you and we’re really thankful you guys are going to make this a good school year for us,'" said Mawhinney
For many teachers and staff members, the surprise was just what they needed to get through the first of what is expected to be many long and unusual work days. No one can say that this year will be easy or predictable, but Needham teachers and staff know that their community is supporting them through every step of the way.