Photo: Courtesy Of Cy-Fair ISD / Submitted
Parents and teachers in the Cy-Fair area are preparing for the most uncertain semester of school since Hurricane Harvey in 2017 as reworked virtual classes go live and schools install new partitions and protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Parent Jessica Garza took to local Facebook group Cypress News to announce another group, Adopt a Cypress Fairbanks Teacher, that would allow parents to lend a hand to Cy-Fair ISD teachers struggling with the challenges of the fall semester including criticism from local communities.
Since Garza’s announcement on Aug. 2, more than 5,400 community members have joined the group and more than 800 educators have been paired with supporters for, at least, the year.
“I thought that this would just be something positive and bring light to the situation,” Garza said. “I didn’t think it would take off like it did but there has been such a positive outlook on it all.”
Garza, previously a CFISD teacher for 10 years, said the self-run group is meant to pair parents with teachers they can support throughout the year with gifts or help. Teachers who are in the group post a short biography including what grade level and subject they teach, and parents can comment on the post to officially “adopt” the teacher. Garza has adopted a few teachers herself, including one of her son’s teachers for the upcoming semester.
“My son is going to be going to school with one of the teachers I’m adopting so I’m planning on giving him a Starbucks (drink) in the morning to take her,” she said.
Although the group is focused on the upcoming challenges of the fall semester, Garza said she hopes the group takes on a life of its own in the future. Teachers are not the only staff up for adoption: nurses, paraprofessionals and other staff have also been adopted by members after posting their story. First-time teachers, many of whom are former Cy-Fair ISD students, are also up for adoption.
“I’m hoping that people will be able to connect for the long-term, developing friendships and mentorships or even just for the year,” she said.
Parents and teachers joining the group will need to request membership from the group before gaining access. Parents and teachers are encouraged to create their own connections. Garza said she hopes people follow through with their support, especially during a difficult time for the community.
“Hopefully, it’s not just a one-time thing but for some of them it might be,” she said. “Once you’re as teacher you’re always a teacher so I thought this was just a really great time to connect the community and teachers back together. I know that it’s been kind of hectic and there’s kind of a separation right now.”
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