Column: A simple gift can transform a day
A square blue card tucked inside an envelope.
Such a simple thing can brighten a day.
Last week our daughter, 9, was surprised to receive a special gift in the mail — a note from her teacher.
Getting mail, especially a handwritten card, is a great treat these days.
Our connection to the digital world over the years has shifted people’s mindsets and habits.
It’s much easier to send a quick text or email than it is to write a note or letter.
Few people take the time to pen a message to someone.
So, Eleanor was over the moon to receive mail — from her teacher.
The note featured a sweet, uplifting message, letting Eleanor know she is in her teacher’s thoughts.
Words of encouragement rounded out the thoughtful message.
It brightened Eleanor’s day, and I’m sure the day of each of the other students in her class who received a handwritten note in the mail too.
Stay at-home and social distancing orders were implemented in March due to coronavirus. School districts rolled out distance learning shortly thereafter, and since then, kids and parents have been navigating the world of education at home.
Administrators and teachers have worked tirelessly to provide lessons for students to complete at home.
It’s hasn’t been, and still isn’t, easy for anyone.
Teachers are putting together lessons that are creative, engaging and educational. That’s no small task.
They are finding ways to tap into new resources and techniques to teach lessons.
One of those is voice-overs, which Eleanor’s teacher began using shortly after remote learning commenced.
Hearing the teacher’s voice explain certain lessons makes the schoolwork a bit more engaging. Students don’t just have to read assignments but can hear the familiar voice of their teacher.
I know it’s helped Eleanor.
Many teachers are parents, too. They are not only crafting lessons for their students but helping their own children with distance learning activities at home.
I’m sure teachers are exhausted. Their classrooms have been turned upside down, and they’ve had to figure out how to teach from afar.
The pandemic also impacts our children. They miss their friends, teachers and their school and after-school activities.
And many parents are still trying to find the balance between their kids’ schoolwork, their professional life and home life.
As far apart from one another as we are physically due to social distancing, one thing remains constant.
We are human and seek and need connections with one another.
We need connections with our colleagues, friends, family — and teachers.
We can connect via text and email, video chat and phone.
And we can connect in writing.
The square blue card from Eleanor’s teacher tucked inside an envelope was the sweetest gesture.
My family greatly appreciates the extra time the teacher took and the love she gave by writing a personalized message to each of her students.
At a time like this — when many of us feel added pressures of work and family, and financial strains from being out of a job or not being able to make ends meet — a simple gift such as a handwritten card has the power to transform a day.
My heart and thanks go out to all the teachers who work tirelessly day after day, juggling home and work life as they do their very best to continue to teach our children.
Deborah Rose is a lifelong New Milford resident who has worked at The Spectrum since its inception in 1998. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.