Schooling During the Pandemic...Dear Parents: We see you-We’re In This Together 💜
I've recently seen many posts on social media from parents feeling frustrated with the schools, administration, or teachers. I want you to know that we see you and we hear you. As we sit in our classroom, in weekly staff meetings, at our dining room tables planning our daily lessons, we are thinking of you and your children. We are thinking of our students and their families and how all these changes are effecting you. Many of us are parents ourselves and know just what you're going through. We know you are working full-time jobs either from home or away from home and trying to balance that with helping your children with their school work. We know some of you had to leave your jobs to be home with your children to help them with schoolwork and you feel the financial burdens of that. We know how you feel because we are feeling it too. We understand you are not teachers by profession, and that the work your children have is different than what you learned in your school years.
We see the posts on social media. We hear your stress over the phone when we discuss with you how your child is doing. We too are feeling the stress as we try to navigate through this situation and our hands are tied just as much as yours are. We are changing our schedules weekly trying to support our students, your children, as much as we can. We are planning lessons, correcting papers, and changing schedules into the late night hours. We are doing what we are told form our administration. All while trying to keep a smile and positive attitude for your children. I can tell you that we want the children to be back in school just as much as you do. We want them to be sitting in the classrooms with us where we can teach them and they can learn in person, but we also want it to be safe for everyone. Please know that we are trying our best to provide your children with the best learning opportunities we can both virtually and in person. We understand this is hard. We understand it is stressful. We see you're tired. We see you're stressed. We see the anxiety that this is creating. We are feeling it too. Know that we hear you. Know that we are in this with you. Know that we want to do our best to support you and your children but also have time with our families...and some time to breath.
This situation is difficult for all. The stress, the uncertainty, the unknown and constantly
changing schedules and unanswered questions. I can't tell you how often I think about my students that I don't see, my students that are home and working remotely that I wish I could have in my classroom to work with in person, and the students that I didn't get to have a proper goodbye with from the previous year. It breaks my heart when I see posted all over social media parents or people from the various communities tearing apart teachers thinking they know what we're going through. One of the things I've learned over the past year is that how we approach each day is so important. If you approach these situations with a negative attitude it's going to make each day harder, but if you try to go through each day with a positive attitude it and find the sliver lining in each day it can make a world of difference. Our children hear what we say, they see how we approach these difficult moments. Their little eyes are watching and their ears are listening. Please, be mindful of how you react to their teachers, their principals, and the work they bring home, they approach their day and learning the way you approach it. You make a difference in their day. You make a difference in their learning and how they feel about it.
The day that I had to walk out of my classroom in March when the pandemic hit I cried. Such an important part of teaching is the connections you make with your students. Those connections aren't the same when you're sitting on the other side of a computer screen. As teachers this isn't what we signed up for, yet every day my colleagues and I have put our whole heart into what we do even though this is something in our many years of training we were NEVER taught how to do. However, each day we are doing everything we can to make sure our students are engaged in their learning and having the best experience we can provide them.
Parents, please know that we understand how you're feeling and we are here, with you, hand in hand giving it our best effort. Please know that we want the very best for your children just like you do. Please know that we are hoping every day to get through this and come out on the other side where things can be somehow back to some sense of normal. We aren't fighting against you. We are with you. We are hoping that we can all be safely back in our schools and teach your children in person. We all want the same thing. We aren't sitting back "enjoying a break" as I've seen some people say. We are feeling stressed, anxious, tired, and burnt out just like you. I don't want to be teaching my students through a computer anymore than you want them sitting at home staring at a screen. So PLEASE, know we are here, giving it our best, trying to provide your children with the best education possible right now, hoping and praying that soon we'll be back to full class sizes with smiling little faces in front of us.