We’re a Year Into Teaching During a Pandemic and Teachers Aren’t Okay

We're a Year Into Teaching During a Pandemic and Teachers Aren't Okay

There’s a little song that went viral on TikTok months ago. “The pandemic isn’t over just because you’re over it.” That really sums up how I’m feeling about teaching during a pandemic right now. 

I’m so tired of the push to pretend everything is normal.

There’s a push for getting back to normal, but we’re still so far from anything even resembling normal. I’m sick of seeing articles with cute bulletin board makeovers or the best activities to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. That’s just not the reality I’m living in right now.

It’s been an entire year since life was flipped upside down and here we are, still teaching during a pandemic. Everything is still different. And it is all still very hard. In fact, I think it’s even more difficult now. I’m exhausted, frustrated, and stressed to levels I never imagined possible – and teaching was never an easy job.

Hybrid teaching is draining me.

Many teachers are in the trenches of hybrid learning – trying to balance students in person and online at the same time. No one would have thought this was possible before this school year. It turns out it can be done. Can it be done effectively? I’m doing my best, but I still doubt myself and my ability to be a “good” teacher every single day.

Teaching face-to-face and virtual students simultaneously has made it so difficult to fully engage with either set of students. Trying to supervise and connect with students on a screen AND in person at the same time is exhausting. I am up past midnight most nights researching ways to keep everyone engaged at once and feel like I’m failing all of them most days.

Maintaining social distancing is a full time job

Trying to maintain social distancing while teaching in person takes up most of my time. I don’t know where the images in news stories of perfect social distancing in schools are coming from. I’ve yet to find an actual, working classroom where students are able to be spaced four to six feet apart – no matter the age group. Plus, getting students to correctly wear their masks all day is a constant battle.

We still have to prepare our students for high-stakes testing

If that wasn’t enough to deal with, teachers still have to prepare their students for high-stakes testing – yes, while teaching during a pandemic. We’re in a worldwide crisis that’s been going on a full year. Almost everyone is struggling in some way. Students have dealt with so many changes – again and again. They’re constantly being shifted around due to exposure, quarantine, illness, and parent concerns. Attendance rosters are different nearly every day. Teachers are being shuffled to different grade levels in the middle of the school year as classes are consolidated. Many families are struggling financially or have had sick family members. Some students have even lost loved ones.

No child should have to do standardized testing under these conditions. And no teacher should be held accountable for scores. Many of us don’t even have the tools to effectively teach – or learn – right now. 

I’m so over teaching during a pandemic. But trying to force normalcy isn’t the answer. Teachers are still really struggling. I definitely am.

Because the pandemic isn’t over just because we’re over it.

Come join us in the Empowered Teachers community for more discussions like this.

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We're a Year Into Teaching During a Pandemic and Teachers Aren't Okay

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Rachael Moshman
Rachael Moshman, M.Ed., an editor at Bored Teachers, 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. Connect with her at rachael.m@boredteachers.com
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