The Valley News has been selected to add two journalists — a photojournalist and a climate and environment reporter — to our newsroom through Report for America, a national service program that boosts local news by harnessing community support.

Please consider donating to this effort.

Forum, June 7: Deep gratitude, respect for efforts of our teachers

Published: 6/6/2021 10:00:12 PM
Modified: 6/6/2021 10:00:11 PM
Deep gratitude, respect for efforts of our teachers

On March 16, 2020 teachers got a call: “You have three days to prepare to teach all of your students online.” And they did. They switched on a dime to virtual teaching and maintained this for the remainder of the year.

They learned new ways to engage students. Teachers and administrators learned new things about their students, themselves, their profession and their pedagogy every day, and they kept showing up. They navigated new platforms, created new lesson plans and units, and made their way through obstacles, tangles, fatigue, worry and insecurity.

Administrators and their teams of faculty and staff worked tirelessly to provide ceremony for those who graduated, problem-solving and navigating daily moving parts to ensure students were recognized for their milestones. And most did not get to say goodbye to their students or celebrate their successes with them.

Make no mistake, over the summer of 2020, teachers revamped their practices to prepare for the unknown, continuing to worry about their students, continuing to learn new ways to teach online, new ways to connect with their students and engage them in learning.

When the school year started, they began again. For those who taught in-person, they showed up every day, frightened for their health and the health of their students, colleagues and families. They showed up every day not knowing what to expect. They learned to teach both in-person and online simultaneously, and they kept showing up.

They showed up because they knew that their students needed them. When, from the children’s perspective (and for some adults as well), the world was falling apart, teachers and administrators showed up. They provided consistency, care, connection, concern, routine — and in doing this, love.

Teachers and administrators saved lives. Thank you. You have my deepest respect and gratitude.



The writer is an education consultant and a leadership development and research project director with the University of Kansas SWIFT Education Center.

I don’t require my employees to prove vaccination

I read where the New Hampshire Legislature is discussing COVID-19 vaccine requirements for businesses and their employees (“Committee splits on vaccination questions: Proposals would bar employers, schools from mandating, asking status on COVID shot,” May 26). I, as a business owner, do not ask my employees if they have had the COVID-19 shot, nor require them to do so. It is their right to choose for themselves if they take the vaccine, and it is my right, also.

I do not ask my employees if they have had the flu shot, shingles shot, human papillomavirus shot, herpes vaccine, AIDS test, hepatitis B vaccine or any other “suggested” vaccines. Employees are required to fill out a New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services form concerning their health and reporting requirements ( This is sufficient so as not to infringe on a person’s freedom to choose.



We must continue the hard work

My heartfelt thanks to President Joe Biden and his administration. They have done a wonderful job freeing this nation from the shackles of the nightmare we suffered from January 2017 up to the 2020 election.

Since coming to office, Biden has recaptured our stature in world politics, demonstrated advocacy of human (and voting) rights, and integrated solutions to our systemic problems across the various departments of our government.

Although misguided partisanship has been ingrained in the soul of many, the rest of us should continue this hard work in order to maintain progress in said solutions. The bias of profit over people has been inculcated. Fortunately, ever more voters understand that stratifying this nation’s great wealth is contrary to the health of its people. Together, our responsibility is to reverse the current regression of society. To be specific: End racism, share resources, promote empathy and kindness.

One of the keystones of this administration has been “Build Back Better,” which impels us to be defenders for this planet. Big Oil denies us that role. I urge the president to defend nature and stop the construction of the proposed Line 3 tar sands pipeline; invest in clean energy instead, and keep doing the things that benefit all life on Earth.


White River Junction

Blame Trump for the unnecessary deaths, suffering

Regarding Forum contributor Janet Connolly’s letter extolling the ex-president’s efforts toward the rapid development of an effective COVID-19 vaccine (“Give credit for vaccines to Operation Warp Speed,” June 3): The notion that vaccine development would have proceeded any differently had the bleach-injector-in-chief not stuck his nose into the effort is wholly preposterous. As is the notion that the mass vaccination success achieved after he convincingly lost could have occurred had the country truly lost its election mind.

What’s not preposterous is to clearly lay the blame for the hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths and widespread prolonged suffering directly on his ignorance, dishonesty and pathological lack of empathy. That he has still been able to surround himself with enablers, crooks and anti-American opportunists is no real surprise.



Thanks for honks

I would like to thank the motorist(s) who honk their horn(s) while I wait to enter ongoing traffic at an intersection. Would your patience and common sense be as loud.


White River Junction

Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784


© 2020 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy