Local teacher starts initiative to recognize fellow educators

Pictured in the collage are screenshots from the Coffee County Adopt A Teacher Facebook Page. Clockwise from the top is Coffee County Raider Academy physical science teacher Rose Ray, page founder Liz Erwin Persinger and New Union Elementary School Kindergarten teacher Amanda Nicole McCain.

 

Raider Academy teacher Liz Erwin Persinger has started The Coffee County - Adopt A Teacher Facebook Group to help with teacher morale during one of the most challenging back-to-school times seen in recent years. 

“I know a lot of us teachers are pretty anxious about this upcoming year,” Persinger said. “We are trying our best to stay focused and have been provided wonderful training opportunities to better prepare us for the challenges we are facing.”

Persinger said that “the kind words that have been posted in this group about teachers and other faculty and staff have brought tears to my eyes. It’s truly special when we can all pull together and recognize each other and our love for education, especially in uncertain times like now.”

She notes that the biggest challenge that the teachers will face in the coming months is the unknown. With the almost daily changes with the COVID-19 situation, it is difficult to look very far into the future, and last year’s abrupt end has created a lot of unknowns.

“It is impossible for us to know how our students have experienced and handled the time out of school. For some kids this has been a great time spent with family, but unfortunately that’s not the case for all kids. Emotional and mental health of some of our kids will definitely be a challenge, but we are prepared to assist with their individual needs,” Persinger said.

Persinger was quick to commend the district with its response to the epidemic.

“Our district has done an amazing job constructing a plan that keeps in mind the safety of our students, their families, and all of the employees of our schools. That has been a relief for myself as well as most educators I have spoken with,” she notes.

Persinger saw a similar page from a neighboring school district. She knew right away it was something she needed to create here.

“When I saw it my mind immediately started thinking of so many teachers that I know who are deserving of the recognition. I knew if I felt that way, I’m sure those teachers must have their own list of deserving people,” she said.

On Sunday, July 19, Persinger created the page and at last count there are 757 members.

“I am blown away by the participation and the community’s love and support. I would like to note that anyone can join this group. There really aren’t any rules other than to be kind to everyone. This is a page for nothing but positivity. There are no limits on how many people you nominate or adopt. Our teachers and school employees deserve this more now than ever,” She said.

 

How it works

People can be invited to join the group by existing members, or can request to join. Once a person joins they can do one or both of the following: nominate a teacher or any employee of any school system within Coffee County, or they can browse the people who have already been nominated and “adopt them.”

When nominating, a picture should be uploaded as well as a brief summary of why the person should be recognized.

Once a group member sees someone they would like to adopt, they simply come to “adopt” on the post. The adoption part would consist of gifting the teacher or person with things that would uplift the person. Nothing extravagant, but just something to make the person feel better upon the beginning of this challenging school year.

Most teachers, after being nominated, will post links to their amazon wish list so that their adopter can help the teacher supply their classroom.

Persinger said that as a teacher, wish lists have really helped teachers to not have to spend as much of their own money for classroom supplies.

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