Georgia Teachers,

I know it was tough. And I know it’s been hard for what seems like a very long time.

I want you to know that when you’re driving to and from school, or when you’re sitting quietly in your classroom after a long day, you are seen.

I see you.

I have seen how you mobilized and intervened on many occasions for your students. You’ve held your ground from the first cases of COVID — through continued quarantines and shifting educational models — until today, trying to close learning gaps and end this school year strong.

I see the strength you show every day for your students, even if you are tired; the dedication you show to your students, even though you have to take care of your own children and family members; and at the call you answer, even if everything seems to take you away from it.

I see you.

When this all started, there was no pandemic playbook already written, sitting dusty on a shelf. But there was you – your compassion, your dedication, your skills and your love for students.

What you and I already knew, others began to see too. There was no teacher evaluation system that could capture the level of teaching you were doing. The sum total of your efforts, the way you met the moment, cannot be measured by any test. A letter grade or CCRPI score could not fully capture all of the demands placed on you, your classrooms, or your schools.

We cannot and should not forget these lessons learned and these truths.

Although we are ending this school year, we cannot end our commitment to the teaching profession. Based on the increase in salaries and the reduction in testing, we must continue to push for even more progress in building the teaching profession – our profession.

You have my commitment to see it through.

Sincerely,

Richard Wood
Public school superintendent