SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. — It’s an expression of gratitude for our educators.
"Today, we are here to honor and say, thank you to our educators at Western Elementary School. And the reason why we're doing that is because educators have had a terrible and extremely hard two years. They've been asked to go above and beyond what their job descriptions are and the expectations of what normal teaching positions would hold. We just want to give back and we want to say, thank you for hanging in there and for sticking with it," said Heather Johnson, the ReachOut Director at Georgetown Crossroads Church.
Crossroads Church locations across Kentucky and Ohio have begun their work to encourage and thank local educators by serving up breakfast at schools across the region throughout April and May.
On this particular morning, Crossroads of Georgetown is baking waffles as a way to say thank you to teachers and staff at Western Elementary in Scott County.
"I think this is awesome. It has really made our staff feel appreciated this morning. I've walked around the pods and seen smiles on their faces and it's great just to have the community putting their arms around us and making us feel appreciated," said Western Elementary Principal Nicole McCoy.
A recent National Education Association survey showed that more than half of our educators are thinking about leaving their jobs earlier than planned, and local research shows that more than one third of educators have considered leaving their jobs in the past year. These findings are a direct result of two years of on-and-off virtual learning, a shift in the mental health of the students they serve and learning gaps created by the pandemic.
"I am a retired teacher and I like to serve people for starters. But then to be able to serve the people that I worked with in the past it's really good for me. I want to show respect to them for what they do, because I have been here on the other side of the table, so I know what it's like," Jennifer Lay, a Crossroads volunteer, said.
Throughout the pandemic, these educators have continued to work hard to teach, support, and care for their students. The Crossroads' “Thank Our Educators” effort is nothing more than a small token of appreciation served in the form of waffles to deliver the biggest thank you they can give.
"We've had everything. From tears of joy to just deep gratitude. And it's surprising what small acts of kindness that they really do big things for people who feel discouraged and forgotten and unimportant because we don't feel that way about them, but sometimes the thank you goes the longest way," Johnson said.
It's a thank you that truly runs deep for these educators.
"It means a lot. Sometimes I guess we feel like our profession is kind of unspoken, we kind of go behind the scenes and it's just great to feel appreciated and highlighted and not forgotten," McCoy said.
Educators in Scott County are feeling appreciated and not forgotten, thanks to the blessings bestowed from the Crossroads volunteers and the “Thank Our Educators” effort.