There is much to be said about the efforts of our Nation's health care workers, to be sure, but there is another essential worker quietly holding things together on a different front line: Educators.
Please know I am not trying to take anything away from our health care workers who are faced with life-ending circumstances. I believe there is space in all of our lives to honor multiple heroes of this pandemic, though. Yes, grocery workers and Target/Wal-Mart workers (my daughter is one of them) and first responders are all on the front lines of keeping us safe, nourished and healthy and deserve our support.
But, I want to also draw attention to the teachers in our lives who are quietly working overtime to manage so much as well.
Their front line is not as dangerous, but no less important. Teachers are tasked with educating future generations for whatever is coming next at a time when the future is anything but certain. Their job is to encourage, inspire, and foster learning when students are spread across school zones, many without reliable internet access, parental support or availability, or even consistent food supplies which is essential for learning.
They no longer have access to their regular tools and even the lessons that they worked so hard to prepare. In its place is new technology that is not always reliable, constant change in how to implement any lesson, and a complete rewrite of everything they worked hard to create so our kids can learn the subjects they are responsible for teaching them.
As an educator for over 12 years this is no small feat. Months went in to planning those lessons. (Myth: teachers do NOT get summers off... that's the only time they can plan for the coming year so that they can spend time with their families after the school day ends, and most aren't paid for those months of work either) And now hours are being spend daily to rewrite everything in addition to teaching their students, educating their own kids, and managing their own households.
Add to that the fact that many are now also tasked with educating parents on how to implement lessons, walking them off the ledge of overwhelm as they work to educate their own children, and balancing the demands of hundreds more emails from students that usual.
It's a lot to take in, isn't it?
Again, I mean no disrespect to any other profession: we are ALL working hard. But I do believe teachers have a unique struggle in this pandemic that is worth mentioning and championing.
I hope you will participate and show love to the teachers n your life!