Teachers Aren’t Babysitters – They’re Heroes, Remember?

Teachers Aren't Babysitters - They're Heroes, Remember?

“At the end of the first day of my kids being out of school after our attempts at ‘homeschooling’… my conclusion… teachers are superheroes. The end.” tweeted Senate candidate Amy McGrath on March 16. Also that same day, Hollywood legend Shonda Rhimes tweeted, “Been homeschooling a 6-year-old and 8-year-old for one hour and 11 minutes. Teachers deserve to make a billion dollars a year. Or week.”

When schools closed due to COVID-19 in mid-March, social media was immediately flooded with overwhelmed parents suggesting teachers be given parades, huge raises, more time off, mountains of gifts, and monuments in their honor. Everyone finally seemed to understand and appreciate the education, specialized skills, hard work, and dedication required to be a teacher. Oh, how quickly the tides change. Now the push is to get teachers and students back in schools as soon as next month. Teachers went from heroes that needed to be protected at all costs to babysitters being sent out in the pandemic so other people can go to work more easily. 

Teachers Aren’t Babysitters – They’re Heroes, Remember?

Teachers aren’t babysitters.

Almost everyone needs to work so they are able to pay for housing, food, medical care, etc. Many people need to obtain proper supervision for their children in order to work. Yes, schools make that easy, affordable, and reliable under normal situations. We aren’t living in a normal situation right now. Teachers aren’t responsible for caring for everyone else’s children so they can work. They are responsible for teaching and can do that remotely so both they and students are safer. 

Teachers are certainly included in the majority of people who need to work in order to survive life. However, they’ve proven they can do it from home in a crisis – keeping both themselves and their students healthier. In fact, most worked even longer hours from home while remote teaching. Teachers are very willing to return to work. They want to teach. We’re still in crisis so reopening schools doesn’t seem like the best plan to many. Teachers aren’t babysitters; they are educators. They don’t have to physically be in a classroom with 30 kids, all at risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, to educate. 

Teachers aren’t responsible for saving the economy.

Teachers are amazing and deserved all the early pandemic praise, however, saving the economy isn’t in their job description. Again, yes, people need to work so businesses stay open. People -teachers included- need to keep their jobs. A healthy economy is important for all of us. But government leaders, corporations, and business owners need to figure out how to save the economy without schools reopening when the virus numbers are continuing to rise. Just because teachers are heroes doesn’t mean they should be responsible for keeping the economy together.

Teachers Aren't Babysitters - They're Heroes, Remember?

Teachers shouldn’t be expected to make such huge sacrifices.

We wanted to give teachers the world just a few months ago. So why are we expecting them to put their health in danger now? Why are we expecting them to risk the health of their families? Many teachers have medical conditions that make them at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, and of the symptoms being more serious if they contract it. Others have partners, parents, grandparents, and children who are immunocompromised and might not survive if they bring the virus home to them. Reopening schools right now is asking teachers to risk their health and the health of their loved ones. What happened to the promises to make every day teacher appreciation day year-round?

Teachers aren’t babysitters – though they’d probably make way more money if they were paid a babysitting hourly rate for each of the 20 – 30 children in their care. It isn’t their responsibility to risk getting sick or endangering their loved ones so others can go to work. Teachers are going to give their all to educating children who are living in a traumatic time. They’re going to dedicate themselves to giving students a sense of normalcy and stability. They’re going to sacrifice sleep, time with their families, and peace of mind to go above and beyond for their students. We trusted them to get us and our children through the end of last school year remotely. So let’s listen to them now when they say they don’t feel safe with schools reopening.  They’ll still be there teaching and supporting students – and the parents of their students – just in a way that is safer for everyone. Let’s go back to remembering teachers aren’t babysitters – they’re heroes! Wanting to keep the most people safe is what being a hero is all about.


Teachers Aren't Babysitters - They're Heroes, Remember?

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Rachael Moshman
Rachael Moshman, M.Ed. is a mom, educator, writer, and advocate for self-confidence. She’s been a teacher in classrooms of infants through adult college students. She loves pizza, Netflix and yoga.
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