Teacher Appreciation 2020

It’s Day 51 of shelter-in-place here in the Bay Area. Traffic has reduced travel time from my home to work by about 30 minutes. We line up to go to get inside the grocery store. The bottom half of everyone’s faces are covered. People are losing their jobs….and…

Teachers are teaching…or not.

I’ve definitely heard people tell me that teachers should not be paid while we are sheltering-in-place because they’re not actually teaching. Teacher friends have reported that they’re receiving complaints from providing too much, too little, and everything in between. Parents who are also teachers are managing their class of 30 or 150 students while getting their own children to get out of bed and do their homework. Regardless of what the perceived situation is, the truth is, teachers are tired.

These teachers are getting up every morning to talk to a computer because students are too shy to come on to camera or they’re on devices that don’t have a camera. They continue to come to class despite the fact that they have been Zoombombed or TikTok pranked every class meeting. Then they go back to their lesson plans to find something fun and exciting for students to do without any immediate feedback. After all of that, they stay up all night to grade assignments and find a new way to offer meaningful feedback.

This is the time of the year we start to miss our kids already, because we’re going to have to say good-bye to them and remind them that they have the tools to succeed in their next adventure. This is the time of the year we hug our graduates just a bit longer in case this is the last time we see each other. We prepare the freshmen for their last physics exam, and try to get out of chaperoning prom. Although no one signed up for this, the teachers all get up every morning to do their job…whether or not you think we should get paid.

I see my colleagues bravely taking on technology even though it scares them. The technologically-confident are patient with us and sharing tech tools with us. I don’t see teachers finger pointing and blaming those who are tech apprehensive.

I am proud of my fellow teachers for fighting through the fatigue everyday. I am inspired by the amount of sharing, collaborating, and cheering each other on through texts, phone calls, and video conferencing. Thank you to all my fellow teachers for keeping it positive despite your own struggles.

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