I Watched My Child’s Teacher on Zoom and Was Blown Away

Cute mom ready to do homeschool with her kids

Dear Teacher,

It’s not like I never understood all you do for my son when he’s in school. You taught him to use scissors and hold his pencil. You hugged him when he skinned his knee on the playground. You cheered when he learned to spell “cheetah.” Outside of our immediate circle, you are the most loving and dependable adult in my child’s life, offering gentle encouragement or tough love as needed. I entrust you each and every day with the most precious thing in my life, and I can breathe easy throughout the day knowing he’s safe and happy.

But now, during the pandemic? Oh boy, do I see you.

Now that I get to see my first grader in your class each day, I understand just how much you do for my son and for every child in your care.

Here are 10 reasons I’m more grateful than ever to have you in my child’s life – and why all of us parents collectively love our kids’ teachers.

1. Your patience

The other day, I walked out from my own Zoom meeting to find my son sitting inside his toy box underneath a blanket, with his Chromebook. This is how my son chose to “do school” that day. Another day, he wore a mask. And on a third day, I came out to find him wearing a stuffed animal on his head. Yet, in spite of all the distractions, he’s learning – all because of you.

2. Your grace under fire

There is no doubt that I’ve hard my share of Zoom stress as a high school teacher, but that’s nothing compared to watching you lead six-year-olds through a reindeer craft project involving scissors and glue. How a person guides 20 children through an in-class craft project without losing their sanity is beyond me. To do it over the internet is a superhuman feat.  

3. Your easy-going nature

One day, a student wanted to show you his shoe. You just rolled with it. Pets are regular visitors to your class, and you take the time to acknowledge each and every one. Interruptions abound, and yet somehow, you never lose your cool.

4. Your organization

Each week, I pick up supply packets from the school, and both his reading and math assignments are organized and leveled specifically for him. Dear teacher, you remembered his birthday week with a handwritten note and a birthday pencil. Teachers are now having to differentiate lessons and materials for every single student, and I can’t fathom the time this takes.

5. Your positive attitude

One of the most valuable skills my son has learned from you is resiliency. I would guess most American students are learning the same hard lessons about pushing through a task even when it’s hard and confusing. “It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s that I can’t do it yet!” my son repeats over and over now. Our students are learning that they can do anything, even if it’s difficult, and you are there to support them every step of the way.

6. Your work behind-the-scenes

Learning to teach via the internet can’t have been easy. For many teachers, it required learning totally new skills and new software. It means that your lessons have to be planned and then adapted to this unique environment. Worksheets need to be scanned and then uploaded. Tests and quizzes don’t just magically become Google Forms, but you make them so. The time it takes to simply move your lessons online doesn’t escape me.

7. How easily you pivot

It feels like things change each week. There is always a new schedule to follow or a new guideline that has been put in place. Through it all, you put any frustration you may feel on hold and continue to show up for your students however you can.

8. Your communication

You post twice each day on the classroom message board to explain homework, answer questions, and deliver announcements. You email, you call, you text, and you respond to private messages. All of this takes time, and yet you’ve never missed a day.

9. The many hats you are wearing

Teachers have always worn many hats, and this hasn’t changed during the pandemic. Now, in addition to teacher-nurse-counselor-coach-etc., you are also tech support, spellchecker, and many more things. Most importantly, dear teacher, you are a vital part of the pipeline that is making sure our kids have food, shelter, and love during this difficult time.

10. Your professionalism

You are working from home, and yet behind you there is a brightly colored backdrop complete with a whiteboard, letters and numbers, and anchor charts. You dress in a suit and tie even though you are sitting in your own kitchen. You are teaching students what it means to take pride in a job well done.

So, dear teacher, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know this isn’t easy, but the best things in life rarely are. You are shaping the next generation, and out of the trauma of the pandemic, they will rise like phoenixes from the ashes of 2020 and beyond, all because of you.


Grateful parents everywhere

Come join us in the Empowered Teacher community for more inspirational content.

Also Check Out:

Dear Teacher: 10 Reasons I'm More Grateful than Ever for You

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I am an unrepentant lover of words - and lucky me, I spend all day, every day immersed in them. When I'm not teaching, I'm reading. Or writing. Or teaching eager (and sometimes not-so-eager) adolescents about the power of the written word. I live on the scenic Oregon Coast with my dog, two cats, and five-year-old son.

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