It goes without being said that 2020 was difficult for everyone. USGBC and the Center for Green Schools has been especially mindful of the educators who have adapted and reimagined their work in engaging students in and outside of the classroom—and many of those educators have been managing their own children’s education at the same time.
As we begin another year, we want to express our greatest gratitude for the educators and school staff around the world who have made education their mission. Our society is strong because of your dedication to inspire and enlighten the next generation. We hope this year brings engaged and motivated students, wherever learning takes place.
We asked the USGBC community to share their own encouraging messages to welcome educators back to school, and our staff, volunteers and members responded with enthusiasm and warmth:
“Thank you, thank you, thank you. The work of an educator is always needed, but in times of crisis, it’s an even more important lifeline. Your work, dedication and commitment to supporting children this year is a stark reminder of how important it is for society to find ways to support each other when we need it most. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.” —Sarah Stanley, USGBC Director of Communications
“A special shout-out to all the special education teachers. You provide innovative and creative ways to reach our children in the classroom, and in 2020, you made creative accommodations to continue that work. Thank you.” —Kay Kane, USGBC Associate Director, Education Development
“In the midst of all the uncertainty this year has brought, teachers have been a saving grace in our children's lives by providing them with stability, comfort and confidence. Teachers have found innovative ways of keeping children engaged and showing them that when there is a will to help, to persevere, to learn, there is always a way. Thank you to all teachers for your dedication and love for our children!” —Ceci Novella, USGBC Credentialing Director
“Lending words of thanks and appreciation for the commitment and leadership of each teacher who quickly adapted so that their students did not stop their educational processes. Thank you for your creativity in keeping your students excited about such a sudden switch from face-to-face to virtual classes. Additional thanks to those who take care of the school infrastructure. When schools returned to in-person, they prepared all the biosecurity protocols to keep everyone safe.” —Maria Alex Cardona, GBCI Columbia Market Engagement Specialist
“As someone who works with teachers and school staff regularly, as the wife of a teacher, and mother of two school-age children—I am absolutely amazed by the way teachers have reached beyond the challenges over the last year to continue to connect with students. The extra time and energy teachers are giving does not go unnoticed. Thank you for all you are doing to help our kids weather this storm.” —Steph Leonard, USGBC Community Project Manager
Educators are vital to our work in preparing future green leaders. The Center for Green Schools is celebrating that role with a Green School Summit for Educators. The education summit will connect classroom educators in exploring the lessons gained from this year of virtual learning and in planning practical steps to ensure that those lessons help us to further integrate sustainability education into classroom content and daily practice.