In responding to Ms. Ingram’s letter published Thursday, I hope to clarify and correct some the points that she made. First of all, the packet came from the PTO — a group of parent volunteers who support teachers and staff — and not the W.W. Robinson Elementary School administration or staff. The school has a very active PTO. In recent years, we have raised funds to defray the cost of educational field trips, purchased a new keyboard for the music teacher and helped to procure a new kiln for the art department. Money raised this year will help fund a new STEM lab and other technology needs.
This year, to make Teacher Appreciation Week fun, we provided teachers with “Getting to Know You” sheets that asked their favorite color, sweet snack, school supply needs, etc. The teachers did not know what the forms were being used for — it was a surprise. In addition to daily treats, the PTO hosted a luncheon for all staff — including the lunchroom and custodial staff referenced in Ms. Ingram’s letter.In drafting the letter to parents, we were very careful to include ideas that would cost nothing but would be meaningful to teachers, such as a handwritten note or picture. We enclosed a small paper cutout so that students could write a note to their classroom teacher and return it to the school to decorate their teacher’s door. In bold type, in the first full paragraph, I included this sentence — “Please feel free to do whatever you’d like and you do not have to participate every day or any day — it is completely up to you and your child.”That letter was to remind families about Teacher Appreciation Week. Our teachers spend so much more time and money on their students than anyone can imagine. Our objective was a nice, pleasant week for the teachers and staff to make them feel appreciated. I regret that Ms. Ingram misconstrued the letter, but I do not apologize for bringing some positivity to a very hard-working group of people during a busy time of year.
Cyndy Walsh, Edinburg, W.W. Robinson PTO president