Dear teachers, I hope you go back feeling like the heroes you have been all along

Dear Teachers, thank you. Thank you for the at-home lessons and activities. In many ways, they have been a life-saver, a connection to other humans and a means of accountability at times when my child and I felt completely isolated from the world. Oh, we haven’t always completed them perfectly, I’m sure; thank you for understanding and giving positive feedback anyway.

Thank you for answering our emails, our texts, our messages on Seesaw and all the correspondences in between. All of a sudden, you not only have a class of students to teach, you also have to teach all of the parents how to do the things you do on a daily basis; something that has required years of college and years of experience to achieve. I imagine you spend more time reading and answering emails than you ever have before, which can feel like you’re running on a treadmill; spinning your wheels and getting nowhere.

Thank you for the extra hours you’ve put in to completely overhaul your yearly lesson plans that have taken, months, years to meticulously plan. I know teachers are planners; they have to be; every school day is a perfectly timed symphony with a bell that must be obeyed, a limited number of resources that must be circulated, and an ocean full of curriculum to cover, oh and hundreds or thousands of children and families to serve. It MUST be a tight ship, and this stay at home order must feel like an ice burg to the hull; yet, you’ve kept us afloat, and you’ve had to be innovative as hell because, THIS HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE.

Thank you for being there, smiling and cheerful on videos and ZOOM chats. My kid misses you so much. She adores school and has been so happy to see you and her classmates on video chats. I know during these times it takes a lot to get out of bed, wash your face, get dressed, comb your hair, wear make-up, and smile when you’d rather just stay in pajamas and spend time with your own family all day.

Thank you for putting your family and your lives on hold to help us with our families; I am sure you have been mourning the school year for your senior, or trying to help your 4th grader with math, or wanting to spend the day reading with your kindergartener, and you’ve had to do all of this alongside working for all of us.

Thank you for missing our children too and showing how much you care; I am sure you had high hopes for all of your students to achieve, and grow and learn this year, and it must be utterly disappointing to not see it through to the end; I am sure your heart is troubled and aching for those kids whom you know do not have a good home life; you take that home with you every day; thank you for doing all that you can.

When this is all over, and we begin our new “normal,” I hope you go back feeling like the heroes you have been all along. Thank you, dear teachers.

Photo Credit :: Lindsay Herkert Photography


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