In this file photo from 2019, educators walk past the new wing at Belfast Area High School that was part of a $7.6 million renovation project. Regional School Unit 71 officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday for the new addition and renovation. Credit: Abigail Curtis / BDN

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Recently, our parent-teacher group happily brainstormed ways to show how much we appreciate all of the adults who dedicate their work lives — and a large portion of their personal lives —  to helping our community’s children grow into healthy adulthood. After the meeting, I kept thinking about ways that we could support those same individuals. Honestly, many of my ideas are either complicated or pie-in-the-sky. But one thing is easy and attainable. Each of us can give specific positive feedback to the individual people we know who work in schools.

How? Send someone a text or email; write a card; have a face-to-face conversation! Tell that person something specific that you noticed. Did they see a student’s potential and help them grow? Did they hold a student accountable for a mistake and help repair a wrong? Were they so excited about learning that they inspired a student to love learning too? Did they help a student figure out a challenge? Did they teach a student a new skill? Were they simply a friendly face in the school day?

Yes, we must advocate for supports for school staff, including the complex or idealistic ones; but meanwhile, let’s tell individual educational workers some specific reasons we’re grateful to them!

Chrissy Fowler