Teachers have always been the cornerstones upon which children build lives filled with meaning and purpose, but within the past year in particular, stark attention has been drawn to just how essential teachers are. During the pandemic, educators have been forced to adapt to remote learning and strict in-person protocols, all while trying to engage students who may have been pushed into less than ideal schooling circumstances. Therefore, it’s fitting that today’s Google Doodle pays homage to Teacher Appreciation Week, which is kicking off on Monday. Touchingly, the Doodle includes five separate stories about educators in America and the students who love them.
For example, one testimonial focuses on Carlos Vizcarra and his student Jose Catalan, who had recently moved to the United States from Mexico. Vizcarra noticed Catalan’s running skills, and bought him a pair of proper shoes. “I felt like crying because nobody had done such a great thing for me,” Catalan said in the Google Doodle’s interactive video. “And that’s when I started to know that you would always help me.” In another story, Russell King remembers how much his music teacher Paige Macklin’s song choice of “Williams’ Doll” inspired him as a small child. “I wasn’t supposed to like dresses and all these things I liked, and singing that song gave me a voice,” King said.
The art for the Google Doodle was made in part by guest artists Lindsey Deschamps, Monique Wray, and Vrinda Zaveri. “My teachers have played an important role in encouraging me to pursue a creative career, as well as helping me with my mental health during difficult times in high school,” Zaveri said in an interview. “It’s an honor to share the appreciation of teachers helping students navigate through this unusual and difficult time.” Overall, teachers are deeply beloved by their grateful students, but they need far more respect from federal structures. Hopefully, as people realize just how essential teachers are in a pandemic, they’ll be paid more.