In one year I have seen the public go from thanking teachers for all their hard work to blaming them for being selfish for not reopening.
Teachers held the same opinions are the public. Many were in favor of reopening and many were in favor of staying virtual. But what they both had in common was that teachers didn’t make the call.
Ultimately the decision for the opening of schools came down from School Boards and Superintendents and made by taking in account the opinions of teachers and the public in addition to data released by health departments.
I have worked with teachers spanning several districts and the only real thing that teachers could do was roll with the punches. I know veteran teachers who didn’t know what they were going to teach until two weeks before schools opened this year. Many of these teachers were 30 year veterans who were placed into new grade levels/contents that they had never taught before.
Though they are teaching within their degree, these teachers had two weeks to prepare new content. What new content you ask? Quizzes, tests, lectures, warm-up activities, exit-slips, games, projects, and other daily content. Now here is where it gets tricky.
Not all kids had internet access so teachers were not only creating digital material but had to make print content. Now granted some of the material could easily be copied but finding time to make copies between having to make new content is not easy. However, they did it.
Teachers did it while receiving more criticism than ever. They did it while being criticized for Zoom not working. They did it while being blamed for a child not turning in work. They did it while working extra hours to lean a new Learning Management System. They did while having to work a second job. And they did it without being thanked.
Here’s to all my fellow teachers who are overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated. This year has not been easy but you do what you always do. You rose above the negativity and delivered. Regardless of how many people out there are upset with you there are millions of kids who appreciate you and your efforts. Millions of kids and one stranger.
I may not know you personally and I may never meet you but I appreciate you and your work.
You don’t deserve to be appreciated for a week. You deserve the entire year.