BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — It’s officially Teacher Appreciation Week.
What’s historically been a small ceremony for the honorees at the Bakersfield Museum of Art, turned into a week-long virtual celebration last year, and now part virtual, part socially distanced one this year.
One of the spearheads of Teacher Appreciation Week at the Kern County Superintendent of Schools says teaching can literally change lives.
During a quite life-changing year, their dedication, she says makes recognizing them much more important.
“You leave exhausted every day, but I know that if I leave exhausted, then I gave everything to the students I have, and that helped me get through every day during the shutdown.”
Christopher Anfoso is a mild to moderate special education teacher at Robert F. Kennedy High School in Delano. He’s also one of the 48 district honorees to be recognized throughout Teacher Appreciation Week.
He may wear his signature hat instead of a cape, but the KCSOS' director of educator development, Malaika Bryant calls him, and basically every teacher and person in education, a hero.
“It’s an opportunity to change people’s lives in a variety of ways, especially with kids as they develop their hearts, and minds, for who they can be, that’s really heroic,” said Bryant.
And just as the teachers have shown up for their students, KCSOS has shown up to the district honorees’ front yards Friday to recognize them.
“They snuck in and put a sign out in my front yard! My kids are really excited about the sign,” said Anfoso.
That’s only the beginning, Bryant says starting Monday they’ll release a series of videos every morning this week to profile the 48 honorees across the 47 Kern County School Districts.
Then, KCSOS will announce the three Kern County teachers of the year in a virtual ceremony Thursday at 4 p.m.
“There’s such a high level of perseverance, with a lot of exhaustion, emotional, physical. To see what has been incredibly trying times for everyone, moments of magic and beauty in this work,” said Bryant.
Of those three local teachers of the year, Bryant says two will go on to compete for teacher of the year at the state level.
On Saturday there will be a drive-through awards ceremony for the district honorees outside the Valley Strong Administrative Building.
They’ll be able to pick up their awards packet and have socially distanced opportunities to take pictures with their award and with their families.