As “home schooling” parents all across the country have found out these past few weeks, teachers are heroes. Suddenly, everyone who hasn’t been inside a classroom for years realizes how many moving parts make up just one class. And how many classes make up just one day.
But it’s one thing to teach English or physics to teenagers, or even reading or math to elementary schoolers.
What about kids who are much younger — who need constant, immediate attention that childcare providers have offered so amazingly for so long?
Alert — and hugely grateful — “06880” reader Keri Stedman admires Eileen Ward. For 39 years, she’s served as director of the Children’s Community Development Center, on Hilllspoint Road.
“There’s no one I’d rather see at the helm during this crisis,” Keri says.
Though the school has closed, Eileen encourages teachers of all age levels to find ways to stay connected. There are emails, texts, Facebook groups, livestreams and Zoom calls (“yes, even for my 2-year-old’s class!”).
The music teacher has weekly online sessions. The art teacher shares creative ideas for the kids. The phys. ed. coach posts workouts.
“It was all put together so quickly,” Keri says. “And it has been so incredibly impressive and useful.”
“As a mom juggling homeschool for 1st and 2nd graders, plus my toddler, CCDC’s support has been invaluable. Eileen and her staff truly are my heroes.”
In fact, just minutes before writing this, one of the teachers FaceTimed Keri to make sure she was doing okay (and to see how all her children were doing).
“Noelle talked to my 2-year-old as the little one ran all over the house with the phone,” Keri reports. “She offered to read to my elementary school girls, and engage them in any way she could.
“She even offered to put together work packets for them. Then she sent me art ideas for outside projects, like puff paint for the driveway.
“We are so lucky to have this center in Westport, and Eileen’s leadership. She truly leads by example. She has kept everyone connected to CCDC steady, calm and positive.”
In fact, Keri says, “I believe Eileen is at the school today, working.”
Thanks, Eileen — and your entire staff — for your care, concern and compassion for all your kids (and their families). Keri is right: You are our Unsung Heroes!
(Do you know an Unsung Hero? Email firstname.lastname@example.org)