As you may have heard, due to COVID-19 Schools are closing all over the country. Causing students to complete all their assignments from home until further notice. This, in turn, sends teachers, administration, parents, and students into a state of panic and confusion.
Students wonder when they are going to see friends again. They wonder when they are going to get back to a set routine of being in school and learning. And the ones who associate school with love, kindness, and food, since their home situation is not that great, wonder how they are going to make it through these next two weeks.
I work as a para-educator and I can tell you that it’s not that easy. Teachers and staff have to make packets of work for their students. Taking hours out of our workday to track down which students have Internet and which ones will need food each day. Having to manage Google classrooms — all while setting aside the time to find lessons to teach during the week.
While many hear “school is closed” and assume “teachers are getting a break.” This couldn’t be any further from the truth. What you don’t know is this is absolutely terrifying for us all.
Teachers, and all the staff found in an education setting, are concerned. We don’t know how to take this all in. From seeing our students and their smiles one day to then sending home packets of work the next. How are we suppose to react to this?
While we all see and notice the memes and jokes about teachers on Facebook, we don’t all see the running around that they are doing for their students.No one seems to notice how the teachers are doing the best they can to figure out how to teach students when they are away from them, all without breaking down.
You also don’t see the tears that well up in our eyes over the idea of not going back to work. Or notice the amount of sleep we lose worrying about our students. And you don’t see how our hearts drop when we walk into our empty classroom at the beginning of the day.
We are concerned.
Our hearts are broken for the students who are not receiving the same love at home as they do at school. We worry about the students who need one-on-one teaching, and the ones who may not get a full meal during their time off.
Furthermore, everyone is making jokes that parents will be praising teachers when this comes to an end. Teachers should always be praised. We take our hearts, sweat, blood, and tears and put it all into our work. This career is so much more than getting summers off and having a paid vacation. We are in it for these students — we always have been and always will be.
Our world has taken a turn. And we don’t know what to do.
Please understand that this is heartbreaking for us.
And while you might be thinking that we are sitting and enjoying ourselves, please remember that we are not.
Before you judge and criticize us, think of all the hard work we put into our classrooms every day. Then, your heart might shatter, too.