It's no secret that our teachers here on the SouthCoast have been working tirelessly from home and their classrooms this year.

In particular, one New Bedford High School teacher who recently received the Massachusetts teacher of the year 2020 has touched the hearts of many, including his AP Research class.

His name is Takeru “TK” Nagayoshi, and through these difficult times, his students were able to cheer him up with a little positivity. During Nagayoshi's class, a Zoom meeting showed everyone's camera turned off except for his own. It's at that very moment when one of his students, Makenna Calvao, made the following announcement:

"Okay so this is a general comment for you Mr.Nagayoshi. So obviously, we all know how the pandemic made us aware of so many things that can be stripped away from us at any moment that we probably never even thought of. To the point where we couldn’t have a normal school year. I have heard countless times by many of my teachers how difficult it has been to teach and to connect with their students. And you, Mr.Nagayoshi have been given the added struggle of having to teach a whole new course this year. A lot of parents have probably messaged you, or have told you how thankful they are for you, but sometimes a simple remind message saying thank you from your students can’t show how thankful we actually are. You have really tried your very best to really connect with all of us and make sure that we’re okay. Personally, I have never really had a teacher that understands the struggles that mental health brings other than you. And we all know you push us because you have so much faith in us and you really do believe and care about us. If my classmates could join me possibly by putting on their cameras in 3...2...1. Thank you.”

The students got the idea from a trend on TikTok and decided to test out the waters on Mr. Nagayoshi.

We agree, Mr. Nagayoshi, and as important as your teachings are, so is your own mental health. It warms my heart to live in a community where our teachers are proud of their students and always put them first, so for once, join me in putting the teachers first such as Mr. Nagayoshi and every other teacher who is selflessly putting in the long hours to ensure the education of our children for tomorrow's future.

In Pictures: What Education Looks Like Around the World During a Pandemic

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