This week I asked friends and family who are veteran teachers to share what work has been like for them lately.
Though overwhelmed, they are hopeful and determined. They are frank about the obstacles they face: trying to keep kids engaged online; having to give one-on-one support from 6 feet away; providing equitable education. For one third grade teacher, “meeting the needs of the students” is the biggest challenge.
They also say that partnerships with parents have frayed. “In the spring teachers were viewed as heroes, now many parents are angry and upset,” writes one friend. “They feel as if teachers aren’t doing their jobs.”
If given the opportunity, these educators would try to dissuade people of that idea. “I wish the public knew how much we love our students, love our jobs, and want to be able to do all we can for them through all of this,” writes one. Another explains, “I wish parents knew that we are trying. It is not perfect, but we still love your children and we want to be with them. We also want to keep our own families healthy.” And another: “We are giving it our all, every day.”
What keeps them going are the students, and the resilience they regularly witness: “What gives me hope are the kids who log in and try their best despite the many barriers they face.” Another puts the road ahead in context: “Great generations are often formed through tough times,” she writes, “and I see our kids as truly giving us a bright future.”