Teachers Step Up

Oct 16, 2020

An Update from Commissioner Infante-Green

It is truly an honor to be a part of a strong, resilient Rhode Island education community that has accomplished so much this year. No group has done more to make Rhode Island a success story than our teachers.

In many ways, 2020 has been the unofficial “Year of the Teacher.” This is not because any political leaders decided to make it a law or any organization adopted the profession as its favorite cause. Our educators have made it the “Year of the Teacher” through their embodiment of the Rhode Island Spirit of flexibility, patience, and kindness.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, our teachers turned on a dime to ensure students kept learning, no matter what. Some of them went to great lengths to ensure students had access to technology, knew about the grab-and-go meal sites, or got a hard copy of all their assignments delivered to their door. They did whatever it took.

Over the summer, our teachers stayed focused on their craft and on the plans school leaders were developing to ensure students could get back to school. They sewed masks for their kids; they worked on the classroom set-up until they had it as safe as possible; and they spoke out clearly and professionally about their concerns when plans needed improvement.

None of us has ever experienced anything like this global pandemic, and our teachers have stepped up to deliver for students no matter what. In the process, they have changed the conversation around education in Rhode Island. We are now viewed nationally as leaders, and educators played a key role in making that happen. We are now viewed as a “can-do” state that puts students first, while ensuring our schools remain safe.

That is a remarkable achievement.