ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – Team Robins joins the nation to Celebrate Teacher Recognition Week May 3-7.
This annual event highlights educators for their service and contributions to students in and out of the classroom.
“We have always valued our teachers and youth program staff,” said Col. Brian Moore, Robin’s installation commander. “But with the commitment you have given from the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic to the present day, our gratitude has grown immensely. They are all true heroes. ”
“For this reason, this week we would like to thank all teachers from the bottom of our hearts for the appreciation of all teachers,” he continued. “Thank you for inspiring, caring, listening, leading, and shaping the future of our children.”
Antoinette Singleton, flight director of the 78th Force Support Squadron Child Development Center, described the teachers as the embodiment of the phrase, “Keep calm and carry on.”
“They showed the epitome of resilience, courage and bravery,” said Singleton. “There was no playbook to look around. Nobody was prepared for how to react. But their hearts are for the kids and that was enough to motivate them to rise above their fear. It’s also important to note that we had a strong leader in Patricia Gurr, who was the flight controller last spring. “
During the health crisis, school tuition and childcare never stopped at the installation.
However, both CDC locations and the School Age Center were temporarily merged into one location. This is because fewer students were served.
Singleton said at the height of the hysteria there were days when fewer than a dozen children were in attendance.
In order to keep the students up to date with their schoolwork, the preschool staff began teaching the lessons via video conference.
“I was happy to do that because I wanted to keep the kids informed,” said Tee Magras, 78th FSS CDC West principal teacher. “The kids wanted to see their friends and this was one way of doing it.”
LaKendra Jordan, 78th FSS CDC West Pre-K teacher, said she caught the virus early and thankfully made a quick recovery. And as soon as she was physically able, she and her colleagues gave virtual lessons to the students.
As the surge in infection cases continued to dominate social media and the news, veteran educator Monica Williams said the situation tested everyone’s resolve and brought them closer together.
“Phew, oh boy. We all had emotions everywhere. But we know we wanted to be strong for ourselves and our students who are so important to us, ”said Williams, 78th FSS CDC East Senior Teacher for 3 and 4 year olds. “That taught us that we can get through anything together. We leaned on each other and that’s how we survived. “
Fight against the fears of the unknown, almost mentally paralyzed teacher Tamara Hollis.
“As much as I loved my students, I wondered if I could still teach them. I was nervous to be around her. I didn’t want to get sick and I didn’t want them to get sick, ”said Hollis, 78th FSS CDC East Senior Teacher for 3 and 4 year olds. “I was happy when I got vaccinated. With the masks I tried to make a game out of wearing them to encourage my students to keep wearing the masks. “
The pandemic also changed the way school-age children enjoyed their downtime after school and on summer vacation.
“We had to cancel grassroots excursions,” said Linda Cleveland, 78th FSS SAC Youth Director. “We had to get creative. The children took virtual trips to see different countries or played online games, and the youth clubs were also virtual. It’s not an ideal situation, but we’re still doing what we can to keep the children occupied. “
Safety remains a priority under the new normal of coronavirus.
“I know we are all grateful to the employees who keep the buildings clean and hygienic. They play an important role in the safety of all of us. This is an ongoing team effort, ”said Cleveland.
Moore prides itself on how the educators at Team Robins have dealt with the challenges of the pandemic.
“Our teachers at the CDC and SAC programs came together to find solutions that would help our families during the pandemic,” he said. “In what could only be described as unprecedented, they have found ways to overcome the challenges and obstacles posed by the virus and made sure that our children continue to receive the best possible care so that our employees can Even then, the Air Force can fulfill its mission Much of the world came to a standstill. For this, together with Team Robins, I will forever be grateful to our carers, who supported our children and families through the pandemic.
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