Caron, who worked nine years in Spring ISD, said community members can adopt teachers and give anything from an encouraging note to supplies from a teacher’s Amazon wishlist. The idea is that the teacher would be shown support throughout the year, not just leading up to the fall.
“It’s not easy right now, and they’re going through an emotional rollercoaster like we are as parents as well, so I just wanted to help out,” Caron said.
Olson, a former teacher in Cy-Fair ISD, said she was inspired to begin the group following an “adopt a senior” group that circulated this spring for graduating high school students in the district.
“My kids have grown up in Tomball ISD, and I have adored the teachers who work in the district,” she said in an email. “During the pandemic there was an ‘Adopt a Tomball Memorial Senior’ [group]. My son was [a] senior, and so I put his bio in the group. He got adopted and was surprised and kept asking me who these people were that kept giving him stuff. It truly got to me emotionally because my heart went out to the teachers.”
She said she started the Facebook group in May but got little response; however, Caron said the group recently shot up to more than 1,500 members in the span of just a few weeks. Additionally, church congregations have stepped up, interested in adopting several teachers, Caron said.
“Teaching is sometimes a very lonely job. You are dealing with children all day and sometimes the days get long and stressful,” Olson said in an email. “I want the parents, [parent teacher organizations] and community to send them little ‘pick me ups’ to let them know we are all behind them.”
For those teachers or community members without Facebook, Caron said the group is partnering with campus PTOs to more broadly support teachers.
Olson said anyone in the community can join the group if they are willing to adopt the teachers. Teachers across the district can join the group—as well as nurses, librarians and custodial staff—and post about themselves and the items they need for their classrooms, she said.
“Their mental and physical well-being is very important for our kids,” Olson said. “I can't even imagine what it is like [teaching] during a pandemic. ... We have to boost [teachers] up as much as we can. It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a village to keep the teachers going.”