With school doors being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, we get to see first hand just how essential educators are. Barack Obama surprised three Chicago teachers with a video chat to tell them how much he appreciates them during National Teachers Appreciation Week.
The Chi-Town native shared the sweet moment on Instagram when he called Jalayne Brewton, a middle school teacher at Parkside Academy, Daniel Michmerhuizen, a U.S. history teacher at Juarez High School, and Katie Owens, a 2nd-grade teacher at Kellman Elementary.
“Hello?” Brewton says in the video. The former President replied, “Hi Jalayne! How are you? It is National Teacher Appreciation Week.”
The video then shows him chatting with Michmerhuizen and Owens. “I am overjoyed, overwhelmed–I am almost speechless,” the high school teacher says about the surprise as Obama laughs and smiles. “I am honored sir, thank you so much for the call. It’s incredible.”
“Oh my God!” says Owens when she sees Barack Obama appears on the screen. “I’m beyond excited. I think I’m trembling now. My mother told me I was going to be a teacher. … I think she recognized in me maybe something that I didn’t see in myself.”
The father of two ended the video with some heartfelt words dedicated to the educators worldwide who are going above and beyond to make remote learning work. “There’s no limit to the devotion I’ve seen in teachers like these educators from @ChiPubSchools,” he captioned the clip. “Their dedication shapes the best parts of who we become. I couldn’t be more thankful for their work, especially as they shift lessons online to keep students on track during this crisis.”