A segment TODAY co-anchor Hoda Kotb did about an inspiring elementary school librarian from Lincoln, Nebraska, had Craig holding back tears as he thought of how much teachers have meant to his own family during a difficult time with thousands of schools across the country being closed for the rest of the school year due to the pandemic.
"As someone who gets to see his kids' teachers on Zoom, the story's so moving this morning because the kids miss their teachers so much right now, and teachers miss their kids just as much," an emotional Craig said.
His comments also came as educators across the country are being celebrated on Tuesday as part of Teacher Appreciation Day, which carries extra resonance this year during the pandemic.
"For us who have small kids and you're seeing this every day, it's just, it's hard, man. It's hard,'' Craig said. "So little things like that, just thanks to all the teachers out there who are going the extra mile."
"We're wrapping our arms around you, Craig, and it's true we all love our teachers so much,'' said Savannah Guthrie, who is a mother of two herself. "We're all so tender right now, we just love everybody."
Craig reflected on his emotional response later in the show on the 3rd hour of TODAY.
"It was one of those things where there are so many teachers out there that are really going the extra mile during these times,'' he said. "I see it firsthand every day, and it just got to me. But I'm better now, I'm in a good place."
"Our emotions are right below the surface right now," Al Roker said.
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Craig's tearful moment was reminiscent of Hoda crying on the air in March after a powerful interview with Saints quarterback Drew Brees about the effects of the coronavirus on her beloved city of New Orleans.