Our kids are home with us for the foreseeable future and I’m suddenly regretting that I didn’t get you a better Teacher Appreciation Day Gift. If I had known what was coming, I would have gone far beyond the Starbucks gift card and wrapped up a shiny new Tesla or perhaps a puppy. It’s only been a couple days of suddenly doing school from a folding table in our living room and I miss you.
I know you miss my kids. For all the tears I have cried while hiding in my closet raiding my secret chocolate stash, I know you are probably matching them. Then again, you’ve been so swamped trying to scramble to compile lesson plans, translate your curriculum to a virtual platform, and communicate with parents that maybe you haven’t even had time to cry. If you had known on that last day of class that it may be the last time you saw my kids for this entire school year, I know you would have said goodbye differently. In the midst of scrambling to figure out how to do your job and show up for their academic success, you likely feel robbed of the personal connection you have with my kids.
Teachers, I know this is so hard for you.
I’m so so sorry it’s gone this way. And I’m so sorry for every email or instant message of frustration you may have received from me or my fellow parents. While we are scrambling to figure out how to homeschool, we are also wrestling with a significant amount of fear. Fear of how we’ll pay the bills now that many of us have either lost wages or worse. Fear of how long social distancing protocol will be in place. Fear of how many of our loved ones will fall ill or worse. It doesn’t excuse any of the short or inconsiderate messaging you are getting, because we know you are dealing with the exact same fears.
Thank you for all you are doing. Thank you for showing up and staying up late. Thank you for learning a brand new way of teaching practically overnight in the name of what’s best for my kids and our community. Thank you for being patient with us parents as we scramble to try to figure out how to do even a fraction of what you do on a normal day.
On top of all the stress of having to throw together virtual learning, maybe you haven’t even had time to process your emotions. Your career and passion as you know it has been yanked out from underneath you like a tablecloth on an ornately set table. You care about each and every kid who sits in your classroom and you didn’t even get to say goodbye properly.
You probably couldn’t even high-five them as they left on that last day because…..well. We all know why.
We are indeed all in this together, teachers and parents alike. We are all scrambling to do jobs we are ill-prepared to do, but if we are being honest…..it’s not unlike that first day when we were suddenly a parent or suddenly a teacher. That first day when eyes looked to us with hopeful expectation, wondering what care and guidance we would bring into their lives, and we looked back with a terrified realization that we had no clue what we are doing, it’s all coming rushing back now.
Thank you, Teachers. We know this is hard on you too.
Our hope is that you will be reunited with your students as soon as possible. And we vow not to skimp on the Teacher Appreciation Gift ever again.