To Those Saying “Lucky Teachers”, This Isn’t a Break For Us, It’s Heartbreak

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According to UNESCO monitoring, over 100 countries have implemented nationwide closures, impacting over half of the world’s student population. As governments continue to close schools in an effort to contain the global pandemic, many people seem to think teachers just hit the jackpot with an extended spring break, or possibly even a massive summer break.

What people are NOT realizing is that teachers are NOT jumping for joy over school being closed. In fact, most are worried sick about their students’ well-being, their futures, and whether they are ever going to step foot in their classroom again. All the hard work they’ve put in to make it this far in the school year, the progress, the breakthroughs, the tears shed, the lost opportunities to finish out the school year strong. Teachers are devastated for their kids, both their classroom kids and their own kids at home.

A primary school teacher in Kent, UK, Jamie Lee, posted her feelings about it on her personal Facebook profile yesterday after hearing the announcement that her school would be closing down and it’s already gotten responses from hundreds of other heartbroken teachers.

Here’s what she posted:

For everyone tonight saying ‘lucky teachers’ I’ll let you in on a secret. My children watched me cry tonight when that announcement was read out.

My children comforted me whilst I thought about the fact that my year 6 class might not get their graduation, their residential trip, their shirt signing day. When I thought about the sleepless nights my work buddies and I have had about SATs; the extra hours we have worked to try and get our pupils where they need to be. The lunch breaks and after school hours we, and our kids have missed running booster sessions and the love we have for our pupils, who we may now not get to celebrate successfully completing primary education with.

We don’t do this job for the money, we do it because we love what we do. This isn’t a break for us, it’s heartbreak.

Many of us have children of our own and will still be in work to support vulnerable children and children whose parents are working to battle this virus. We weren’t mentioned in the group of people who will still need childcare. 

So maybe think before you say how easy teachers have it now, and be grateful we have continued to support your children, whilst potentially risking ours and our own loved ones’ health during these uncertain times.

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