Professors continue to make adjustments to help their students learn during COVID-19. Using new strategies to teach effectively online, learning unfamiliar digital technologies, troubleshooting to extend hands-on activities to virtual spaces, helping students continue to learn across time zones, all while navigating personal circumstances and scenarios, these are just a few ways that professors exhibit adaptability. Additionally, many professors demonstrate care, compassion, and empathy towards their learners amidst the unprecedented and unexpected demands of the times.

The goal of this newsletter is to thank professors for all they do for our students. We feature comments where students share their gratitude for the tremendous work their instructors have done teaching this semester. We highlight submissions that reflect faculty commitment to student success in and out of the (virtual) classroom, their continued support and engagement, and their ability to be flexible and adaptable.

Thank you for providing a comprehensive education to our students.

I would like to thank my professors for their continued support both inside and outside the classroom. I am blessed to work with them, whether online or in the lab, and I am so thankful for the advice and knowledge they have provided me.

Thank you for checking in with students, encouraging them, and making yourself available.

Given the unprecedented circumstances we are in, it’s so heartwarming to know professors care about their students and take time out of class or during office hours to check in with students and make sure they are doing well. A simple “how are you doing today, how is your family doing, how is it like where you are living right now?” can go a long way. Additionally, the simple jokes, thoughtful messages, and words of encouragement that professors are providing give me a reason to keep pushing through even though it is so hard to remain motivated with virtual learning. I am glad professors are doing their best to make classes engaging, even if that means mentioning social justice issues that have been on a rise recently, and letting students know they are more than welcome to reach out and ask for help.

Thank you for helping to create some stability in students’ lives in the midst of an uncertain world.

I’m so grateful for how hard my professors are trying to make this semester work for all of us. When the entire world feels so unstable, it has been so valuable to retain a sense of routine and normalcy in courses, whether through the predictability of assignments, the structure of class time, or the consistent extension of support by professors. Even though classes can be stressful, relying on them to give my days structure has been really important for me.

Thank you for being there for our students.

I can always rely on my professors to be in my corner, both for encouragement and valuable mentorship. Over our shortened spring semester, my professors created opportunities for students to talk to each other using Zoom. This helped add a bit of normalcy back into our lives at a time where it was much needed. I was given the opportunity to return to campus for lab this fall. Although this semester has been anything but normal, I knew I could reach out to my professors and simply have a conversation about how much COVID-19 impacted us all. These simple conversations were vital in returning some bit of normalcy to my life.

We see the challenges that you have faced with teaching during COVID-19. We admire how you have navigated this situation. Thank you for all that you do.