Teachers are tired of the buzzwords that keep popping up. On the list of most overused teacher terms of 2020 – 2021 should be distance learning, asynchronous/synchronous work, and pivot, If teachers could wave a magic wand, those phrases would disappear like copy paper in the teacher workroom and would be replaced with these.
1. “There will be no more changes this year. “
Teachers have gotten used to the weekly changes that this year has brought. They just get in the groove (or not) and another change is thrown at them like the opening pitch of baseball season. It would be a home run if the rest of the year were change-free.
2. “You just received a raise…and it’s BIG!”
I’m not talking Covid Pay. I’m talking ON the salary schedule, NEVER to be removed. Contrary to popular belief, not all teachers get raises every year and when they do, it often doesn’t cover cost of living increase. An unexpected raise may just cover the cost of the school supplies teachers purchase out of their own pockets. At least it may cover the expense of the increased intake of coffee (or whatever beverage of choice) that many teachers are relying on to get through the year.
3. “Every teacher gets a TA!”
Teacher’s Assistants are priceless! Whatever their titles, be it Paraprofessionals or Instructional Assistants, teachers rely on the additional help! Imagine sitting in a staff meeting and reaching under your chair Oprah style for an envelope while the admin shrieks, “You get a TA, you get a TA, everyone gets a TA!”
4. “The district has decided to prohibit work on the weekends.”
While this may cause stress in many workaholic teachers, it may just give them the permission they need to take time for themselves for a change.
5. “You know, Mr. Henry, I really appreciate you correcting my child when he was rude on your Zoom call.”
With parents overhearing EVERYTHING that comes out of a teacher’s mouth this year with distance learning, teachers have received their fair share of complaints for correcting students. It would be as refreshing as a glass of lemonade on a hot summer day (or an extra 5 minutes to pee after drinking said lemonade) to have a parent actually thank them for asking a student to wait his turn, stop interrupting, to be kind, to please not eat in the zoom class for the hundredth time, or to turn on his camera.
6. “Happy hour in the teacher’s lounge!“
After 3:00 of course!
7. “Summer break is extended for a month…and it is paid!”
Teachers are burned out. Stick a fork in many of them because they are DONE! And by the way, not only has the district prohibited work on the weekends, they have prohibited work from home during this extended vacation as well.
8. “We have decided to reduce class sizes.”
Followed by, “We hope 20 students per class isn’t too many.”
9. “State testing has been cancelled this year.”
Let’s face it. The results are not going to be valid. Students taking the tests at home are going to get help from parents, google answers or just give up. Students who take the test at school are going to be frustrated due to the learning loss that has occurred this year. Let’s take the money that would be saved on state testing and put it to better use… like extra support for those students who just didn’t do well with distance learning.
10. “You can finally high five, fist bump or hug your students!”
Teachers are loving, caring people. It has been very difficult for many not to be able to welcome students into their classrooms with a morning ritual that involves physical contact. Others have struggled with not being able to hug the littles when they get hurt or are having a bad day. Once teachers are given the go ahead, it is going to look like the arrival gate at the airport!
11. “Thank you.”