We don’t deserve teachers.
No, seriously, we don’t.
They’re underpaid and under-appreciated, and they show up anyway. They love the hard-to-love kids with every fiber of their beings and they lose sleep at night trying to think of a way to help them.
They spend their lunch breaks celebrating the break-throughs and bragging about the kid that just GETS IT now. They cry over our kids’ pain.
And then they were hit with a pandemic.
We all were. Schools closed down and they never taught those students again. Then a new school year started and the plan was up in the air until the very last second. None of us envied the boards who had to make these calls, balancing what the parents wanted, what was best for learning, and what was best for health.
But they made the calls. Decisions were made and teachers pivoted and pivoted again when things changed again.
This year was supposed to be THEIR year.
They could be vaccinated if they wanted to be, all their students were back in the classroom where we said we wanted them and where the teachers knew they learned and thrived at their full potential.
But it wasn’t their year. Kids came to school sick, masks weren’t mandated anymore and social distancing was over and a new variant that infects kids combined into a terrible storm. Suddenly it was a balancing act of getting lessons together for the kids that were sick and the kids that were quarantined while also continuing to teach the kids in class and watch them for signs of sickness too because it was their job to monitor symptoms and contact trace.
And now they’re sick too, because of course they are.
There is no virus that could prevent them from scooping up the sweet kindergarten girl crying in the hall for a hug. When a 2nd grader is struggling, absolutely they are going to invite that child to sit with them at their desk to help them focus.
They love these kids, remember?
And a lot of times a sneeze into the eyeball is part of that package.
Now is the time for us to come together as parents. We have disagreed so much in the past 22 months. Masks or no masks, virtual or in-person, vaccine or no vaccine, but the teachers, school staff, and the administrators are doing their full and absolute best.
They need our support more than ever right now. Send a thank you card, a Sonic drink, a gallon of hand sanitizer. Be loud on social media. They are there too, cringing as the comments roll in about how they are on vacation with our tax dollars during these school closures.
Stand up for them.
Fight for them the way I promise you they are fighting for your kid.
Politicians are talking and making these teachers and administrators feel like they aren’t doing enough when they are literally putting their entire selves into the job. I have sat with more than one teacher at my sons’ school as they pour their hearts out about how impossible it all is.
I have watched as principals, counselors, and student teachers have stepped up and taken on more than they can possibly bear to overcome staff shortages. I have stressed with them as they test at every sniffle because whatever happens to them, they are NOT spreading it to these kids.
We have demanded the impossible over and over again and they have delivered it to us.
We don’t deserve teachers.