Russell County Schools Superintendent Michael Ford offered high praise for the school district’s teachers and staff for the work they’ve done to start the school year virtually, and also challenged those who have made negative remarks about the district’s teachers during the first month of the school year.
“The work that the teachers, assistants, and our entire faculty and staff have put in to this virtual learning and the amount of time, energy, innovation, and resources they have provided is phenomenal,” Ford said. “Have I taken complaints? I absolutely have. I am happy to talk to a parent because I feel really good when I can talk about the amount of work and effort our teachers and staff have put in to this virtual learning.”
Ford said everyone is in agreement that in-person education is best for students, but under the current circumstances, providing that is difficult, so the school district needed to be innovative in its approach.
“We all agree that we want our students back in-person, but our teachers have been working hard during this and growing,” Ford said.
Ford said he has seen or heard comments that have upset him about teachers and school staff in the district. Ford fired back at those criticisms, and challenged them to walk in the shoes of a teacher, assistant, or principal right now.
“I guess part of it, it upsets me and it disappoints me when I see some of the complaints,” Ford said. “I don’t care to take complaints. I’ll take complaints. That’s part of my job. I just don’t think it’s fair to our teachers, our principals, or our administration when folks are so targeted and people start calling names. That bothers me, because I would challenge them to walk in a teacher’s shoes, walk in an instructional assistant’s shoes, walk in a principal’s shoes, or the cooks who are cooking every day or the custodians who are cleaning and tell me they aren’t doing the best job they can do for our students in a very difficult time.”
Ford said he absolutely believed the district’s teachers, principals, administrators, and other school district employees were doing the best they could in a difficult situation.
“From what I’ve seen, they’re absolutely doing the best they can, and I just wanted to say that publicly because I appreciate each of them,” Ford said.