Teachers, you are my heroes.
Without warning, your lives were turned upside down. Students were never to return for the remainder of the school year, and everything you knew about teaching shifted in the blink of an eye. From warm hugs and silly conversations to children who had trouble locating the mute button. Kids sticking their tongues out at each other on the video chat, laying in their chairs, and crying out of frustration. You may have also had similar grievances.
Many people may not know this, but on average, teachers across the nation received 3 days of online teaching training. They were expected to turn their physical classrooms into virtual classrooms in less than a week. Guess what? It was achieved. Quite possibly with hiccups, but what new system is flawless?
Our beautiful (sarcastically said) internet has shown so much hate, lately. I’ve read comments on social media like, “These teachers should get a pay cut.” “I shouldn’t have to pay school taxes since the kids aren’t in school.” “People go to work everyday; why are teachers so special?” “They need to suck it up, or quit.”
I don’t know what teachers these people are referring to, but the only teachers I’ve run into are complete rockstars.
If anything, they should receive a huge raise. And one of the reasons why people complain about schools in New Mexico is because our taxes are low, so we don’t have a ton of money pouring into schools, regardless of what some may think. Several of our schools don’t even have working air conditioners. Teachers will pass out ice packs to create a more tolerable environment for kiddos in the hot months. I lived in another state where the taxes were astronomical, but the schools looked like they came out of a scene in a movie.
Day after day, I peer into class meets with my son who is in kindergarten.
These sweet kids can navigate a live meet better than most adults. They engage, and then they get bored. The teachers are sure to try to validate their feelings. Our school identifies feelings by using color zones. They are sure to ask what zone each kid is in, every morning. When the kids are in a zone where they are sad, angry, or tired, the teachers make sure to tell ask the kid why, and let them know that it is okay to feel that way.
I’ve only dealt with virtual teachers thus far, but let’s also thank all of the staff who put their lives on the line every single day. Some schools in New Mexico (and the rest of the country) are back in the classroom. But teachers did not sign up to teach during a global pandemic with a shortage of PPE. We should have never made it to this level of infection. But here we are.
If they are meeting in-person, day after day, teachers show up with smiles behind their masks.
They invent cool games to help kids wash their hands and physically distance. They constantly come up with ideas for how to make things into fun, instead of berating kids for touching items and then touching their faces. Anything to make this not normal period turn into a new normal that is less scary for the kiddos.
The last time that I checked, this school year alone Covid-19 has killed teachers in at least 5 states. The school year hasn’t even been in session for more than 2 months. I know there were several other educators who were lost over the course of the pandemic. This article is reflective of the 2020-2021 school year. These teachers pour their hearts and souls into our future generation. They are underpaid people, with a passion for instructing our most prized possessions, paid the ultimate price.
Thank you for risking your lives.
We appreciate you. We adore you. There is no way we could ever repay you. Here is to hoping that the safety plans in place keep our teachers/staff and students safe. We need you; you are important and amazing. You are true super heroes. And this goes out to all staff at school. I know teachers are not the only people on campus. It takes a village. You didn’t ask for this, but you came up with a plan and executed it. And that, my dears, is the ultimate sacrifice.
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