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Recognizing Teacher Appreciation Week amid coronavirus pandemic

Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed May 4 - May 8 Teacher Appreciation Week in North Carolina.

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed May 4 - May 8 Teacher Appreciation Week in North Carolina. It's all about recognizing the significant impact teachers make on children.

“Teachers have always been my heroes, and it’s important to pause to recognize our educators for everything they do,” said Gov. Cooper. “Teachers go the extra mile for their students under normal circumstances, and now during this pandemic they are running a marathon to educate and support their students in these unprecedented times.”

North Carolina educators are working hard to stay connected with students despite the coronavirus pandemic. Alexis Tilley, for example, is a 4th grade teacher at Madison Elementary School in McLeansville in Guilford County. Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, she's been relying on technology to instruct students. 

"This is a challenge for families in general," said Tilley. "We want to do whatever we can to make this as easy of a transition as possible. And, just helping you be to able to support your child in any way that you need to during this time."

Tilley recently turned to the "Flat Teacher Project" to connect with students in a special way. It's a spin-off of the "Flat Stanley" children's book. Tilley created flat images of herself as part of a remote interactive project for students. Just last week, Tilley partnered with other educators to deliver the project and pinwheels labeled with positive messages to students at home. 

Credit: Alexis Tilley

"Parents are really appreciative that we took the time out to go and deliver the pinwheels," said Tilley. "They say it really brought some positivity back into this kind of difficult time. It's been really hard for students staying at home and feeling a bit isolated when they are used to seeing their friends and teacher every single day."

During the pandemic, North Carolina educators are sharing ideas with each other online to find creative ways to stay connected with students outside of the classroom. Gov. Cooper is currently working with education leaders and public health officials to develop safety guidelines for schools to follow when classes are able to convene in person. These guidelines will be designed to protect everyone in the school community, especially at-risk teachers and students.

Click here for ways you can show appreciation to teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week in North Carolina. 

You can also text in a name and a photo of your favorite teacher and tell us why they're appreciated at 336-379-5753 or post it on the WFMY News 2 Facebook page.