A list of those who deserve praise, acknowledgment and just a good pat on the back and a genuine “THANK YOU” during these trying and so very different times thanks to COVID-19 is really long.

From health professionals to teachers and administrators to first responders to the girl who stands behind Plexiglas to give you change for a coffee, the list goes on and on.

And let’s not forget parents, grandparents and guardians who have been thrust since last March into a unique role for many — modified educators.

When area school districts went to online learning, changes had to be made in many households, especially for elementary-school aged children. That responsibility fell on the shoulders most often on the adults in the lives of the children.

Suddenly, many households had to not only figure out a way to make it work and make sure their children were on task to learn in a much different way than ever before, but that the youngsters were in the presence of an adult.

In many households, parents and guardians absolutely cannot change their work schedule or cut their work hours and still make it financially.

They count on the principle that their kids have teachers to teach them and they are there to help as needed during homework hours. Certainly many would rather solve a math equation the “old way” rather than how children are taught problem solving skills today.

Yes, these kids are theirs and they ultimately have responsibility for their children’s learning when not in session. However, we are living in crazy times and some things just aren’t the way they always have been and learning is one of them.

There have been hundreds of parents, grandparents and guardians around Hardin County who have figured it out on the run and provided the best learning environment they could.

From making sure their children are taken care of during the school day to making sure they are learning online as they should, there’s been a lot asked of everyone with a vested interest in education and that includes the parents, grandparents and guardians of children.

It’s unnerving to be told in a matter of days schools are closed and learning will be done in front of a computer during work hours.

It’s been quite an undertaking to ensure for a few months last school year and for part of this new school year, that a 9-year-old, for instance, has to be set up to learn online and that there is somewhere there to provide help and to simple take care of them.

Not all households are alike for children and not every home has the benefit of having someone step up and to be there for youngsters. It’s just been a really tough time to figure things out on so many fronts.

So while we always should be quick to praise those who step forward and make a difference, let’s make sure parents, grandparents and guardians are included because of all that’s being asked of them.

It hasn’t been easy, but they certainly have done their share in making sure the needs of children have been met.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.

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