This week during Teacher Appreciation Week, every public school teacher in Yadkin County will receive special recognition - a face mask with the Yadkin County Schools’ logo.  

The COVID-19 Yadkin County Response Team of the Clemmons Community Foundation sought the help of Indera Mills Co. to create a custom, cotton face mask, screen-printed with the school system’s logo. Yadkinville-based Indera Mills Co. revamped its textile operations in March, dusting off retired sewing machines to make much-needed face masks and to keep their workforce employed. Indera Mills Co. was only too happy to help make a special mask for teachers.  John Willingham, President, comments “we especially appreciate the changes teachers have made.  We know what it takes to adapt to the environment and we join them in their ‘can-do’ spirit.”  Indera Mills Co. has been operating continuously for 106 years.

The partnership to make customized masks for teachers was community-inspired.  The purchase of masks helps a regarded, local company and will help keep teachers safe now and through the re-start of in-class instruction in the fall.   Importantly, the custom masks will help the community recognize teachers this week and beyond for the unprecedented transformations teachers have made in classroom instruction over the past few months.  Teachers have worked consistently throughout the pandemic, without pause, to continue to educate students.  

Dr. Todd Martin, Superintendent, remarks,

“Our teachers have demonstrated remarkable agility and resilience in addition to their traditional unwavering commitment to students. We are so grateful to them.”  

Creating an online curriculum normally can require 6 months to a year and often by a team of teachers and IT professionals.  Yet, every teacher in every grade had to transform their in-person, classroom curriculum to remote learning in a week or two, even if they were not comfortable with the technology.  Teachers daily assess and encourage students in the classroom. Now, supporting student learning can only occur through a phone call, text, tweet, email, video conference, or a drive by a student’s home to cheerfully encourage students from a distance.

 Nothing prepared teachers for this transformation or environment.  Yet, teachers did it and are doing it every day, all day and often working evenings and weekends—all because they love teaching and our children. Parents who have served as in-home teacher aides over the last month have shared in the experience and now celebrate teachers even more.

This week, with thanks to Indera Mills co. and Yadkin County’s COVID-19 Response Team, Yadkin County residents are being encouraged to look for the face mask of a teacher and to say or do something special in appreciation and celebration of the incredible work teachers have done and continue to do for students.