10 Things Every Teacher Needs to Hear Right Now

10 Things Every Teacher Needs to Hear Right Now

Every teacher needs to be cheered for and hyped up right now. Teachers, in case you aren’t getting the support you need, we’re here. Read this. We see you. You’re doing a fantastic job. We appreciate you so much.

10 things every teacher needs to hear:

1. There would be no other professions without you.

If there’s one thing I want you to remember every day, it’s this. Every profession is made possible by teachers paving the way. Any time your job feels “worthless,” remember that it’s literally THE JOB that creates all other jobs…and that’s what makes it special.

2. The compliments your students give you (though rare) are 100% true…

And there are even more kids who will never admit that they just love you! The student that told you they looked forward to your class? They weren’t just saying it to get the passing grade; they really meant it. When someone compliments you, take it and use it to drown out all the negative.

3. Everyone has bad days, even teachers.

It can feel like you’re not “allowed” to have bad days because it bubbles over onto your students and causes them to get down, too. It can feel like you’re a failure when you have an “off” day simply because you have so many little eyes watching you. You’re only human, though, and no one is “great” all the time. Pandemic teaching is exhausting and it’s okay to have hard days.

4. You truly shouldn’t be asked to do all that you’re doing this year (or any year for that matter).

During this crazy time of distance/virtual/online/in-person/hybrid learning, you’re literally completing 564332 tasks under 2784472 job titles every. single. day. You’re doing the near-impossible and you’re just EXPECTED to know how to do ALL OF IT. Let that sink in for a moment. And then let go of the guilt for not being able to do it all. No one could.

5. “You’re not a bad teacher, those kids are just bad.”

Okay, they’re not really bad kids; we all know that. But the popular meme has truth to it. December just brings out the worst in kids. They want to see Santa more than they want to see another vocabulary word or math problem. It’s just plain science. By December, kids need a break as much as the teachers. We all just need a break from each other. It’s not you.

6. At the end of the day, it’s a job.

Teaching is a calling. You mean more to your students than you know. Teaching becomes a part of who you are as a person after years of being a teacher. However, you have a life outside of teaching; it’s okay to ENJOY that life. Teaching is WORK. While it changes you, it shouldn’t become ALL of you. You’re doing yourself a favor by separating your job and your LIFE.

7. Take care of yourself.

Go to the bathroom. Take a lunch break. Take a sick day. Don’t let anyone BULLY you into denying yourself basic human rights just because it seems to inconvenience someone else.

If someone has to take your class because you’re out sick, that isn’t your fault. Schools should not be so understaffed that you can’t take a sick day (or mental health day) when needed. You should be able to eat lunch, and take your time. You shouldn’t have to TRAIN YOUR BLADDER to wait HOURS. Just no. Providing more teacher support starts with normalizing basic care.

8. No one is prepared right now.

Even the Pinterest teachers weren’t pinning ideas like “How to Thrive in a Pandemic” or “Covid-Safe Chic Classrooms” in 2019. NO ONE IS PREPARED for 2020 teaching. If they act prepared, they’re lying; it’s just not possible. We’re all taking it day-by-day and pretending like we have any clue what we’re doing in the 2020-2021 school year in hopes that the kids don’t realize just how LOST we really are. I’m starting to think that this school year should count as TWO of my twenty-five years until retirement.

9. They are learning.

The students are learning. Maybe they’re failing some things and missing some assignments, but they’re learning how to be resilient in the face of uncertainty. They’re learning more about technology than ever, and they’re learning how to be extremely self-sufficient. They’re LEARNING, which should always, always be the end goal, anyway.

10. Thank you.

I know you don’t hear it enough, so I’ll tell you again: thank you.

Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for showing up every day, in the middle of chaos, in the middle of a pandemic, in the midst of economic crisis and emotional struggle and your own personal issues. Thank you for providing kids with one constant this school year, even when you may have none. Not only would there be no professions without teachers, but there’d also be a lot less wisdom and fulfillment in the world without education—so thank you.

Every teacher needs to feel supported, appreciated and seen. If you aren’t a teacher, pass this on to the teachers in your life. It just might make their day a little brighter to know someone cares.


10 Things Every Teacher Needs to Hear Right Now

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Whitney Ballard is a writer and teacher from small town Alabama. She owns the Trains and Tantrums blog, https://trainsandtantrums.blog/. Whitney went from becoming a mom at sixteen to holding a Master’s degree in Education; she writes about her journey, along with daily life, through a Christian lens on her blog. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her in the backyard with her husband, two boys, and two dogs.

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