BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and right now, many parents and students are appreciating the efforts of our teachers more than ever.

With schools in Maryland now closed through the end of the academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students and their parents have come to realize the hard work teachers put in each and every day, especially now with distant learning.

Coronavirus Closings: Maryland Schools Will Remain Closed Through Academic Year

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Many students have learned to adapt to the new normal of online classrooms and virtual assignments.

“I think its kind of shown some teachers a different way of approaching lessons that can be good,” Grace Hulse, of Fort Garrison Elementary School, said. “And like certain aspects of this I think will stay with us in our curriculum.”

But teachers said it’s just not the same.

“Not being able to have that personal contact with all the children,” Hulse said. “So it makes me sad. I know it makes the children sad.”

Educators continue to develop new and creative ways to deliver lessons, assignments, projects and other in-home activities during this pandemic.

“Some may not have very many art supplies at home, or not be able to get them, so we had to come up with ways that they could make art without a lot of things,” Hulse said.

Music teachers said it’s so important to stay connected with the arts, especially during times like this.

“We hope to be able to use music kind of as music therapy for students,” Terri Iacarino, of Joppa View Elementary School, said.

And when the time comes where students can re-enter classrooms, teachers are already thinking of ways to remind students how to work in a collaborative group setting.

“Our assignments now have been very directed to one student instead of thinking as an ensemble in the music world,” Iacarino said.

For now, they’re just taking it day by day and looking forward to the moment they can meet again in-person.

“I miss my students so much,” Iacarino said.

“We’ll just get through it the best we can,” Hulse said.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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