I appreciate teachers so much. I can’t imagine suddenly being required to learn to teach remotely while managing your own family during a global crisis, plus dealing with the regular ‘ol curveballs life throws at us. Teachers, you amaze me. Could you please share a few of your secrets with the rest of us? Because you are magical.
I’m having a rough week. Yes, I know, we all are. The world isn’t stopping for coronavirus. Every day hard stuff is still popping up.
I’ve been sick off and on for months while trying to work from home with horrible wifi. My daughter is also home trying to participate in Zoom classes and tackle schoolwork with terrible internet connection and we can’t go anywhere for better access because the outside world is closed. And…
- The dog broke the printer. I need to print for work and finding another printer while being quarantined on a tiny island was a chore.
- My windshield wipers went out while driving over a long bridge in a torrential downpour.
- An upstairs plumbing issue led to a cracked ceiling with water pouring out downstairs.
- The AC went berserk making an awful sound and vibrations so strong they shook the kitchen cabinets. (But, of course, it was fine when the AC people arrived.)
- A raccoon got into the laundry room, ate all the cat food, and pooped in front of the washing machine.
- Then I stepped in the poop.
- My daughter fell down the stairs. The AC sound was awful, but the thud of your child falling down the stairs is way worse. (She was shaken up and has some bruises, but is okay.)
- And that was just one week! (Did I mention I stepped in raccoon poop?)
I was sitting on the floor comforting my daughter after her fall and thought, “Whew! I’m so glad I’m not teaching this semester on top of all this.” Yup, stepping in raccoon poop totally made me appreciate teachers even more. I’d arranged to have the semester off prior to Covid-19 flipping the world upside down. I’ve been watching teachers all over the world in awe.
I can’t imagine having to deal with a week of random mishaps, plus the stress of a pandemic all while navigating teaching from home. I’m not special – we all have annoying stuff happen unexpectedly. Teachers aren’t exempt from having all sorts of things go wrong in their personal lives. But the teachers I know are holding it together like it’s a superpower.
No, really, you are! And many teachers are terrible at accepting compliments. Here are some rebuttals I’ve seen teachers give when complimented on social media:
“But I did an entire online class with my microphone off. My students couldn’t hear a thing.”
“But I drank an entire bottle of wine while making call after call to students and parents who didn’t pick up.”
“But I don’t remember the last time I washed my hair and have fed my children cereal for dinner every day this week.”
“But I feel like a hot mess, not a superhero.”
We’re living in a pandemic. This is a huge trauma. Teachers, you’re caring for your own family and dealing with all the annoying challenges life throws your way. All while chained to your computer and/or phone for most of the hours you’re awake teaching, comforting, and supporting your students. Even in the moments you feel like you’ve failed, trust me, you’re still handling all you’ve got on your plate with amazing grace. No matter what version of stepping in raccoon poop is happening in your private life, you’re showing up for your students and you’re doing a great job.
Parents, teachers may seem like they have superpowers, but they’re really just regular humans with challenging, complicated lives like everyone else. They have rent due, are managing toddler and teenager tantrums, and are hoping they’ll find toilet paper at the store this week. They deal with flat tires, relationship stress, and dental emergencies just like anyone else. They’re worried about loved ones who are essential employees with potential exposure to the virus daily. People they care about may have contracted the virus or even died. Your child’s teacher is doing their very best to keep it all together during this very difficult time. If you haven’t already, reach out and ask how they’re doing. Take time to check on them. Then thank them for all their hard work. We really need to appreciate teachers and make sure they feel it.
Teachers, I wish I could send you all gourmet coffee and freshly baked muffins. I wish I could fold your laundry, too. The world is a scary, stressful, overwhelming place right now without having to think about the education of dozens of children. Your strength, compassion, and endurance is even more amazing than ever before. Thank you.