We Should Be Lifting Teachers Up, Not Cutting Them Down – Their Feelings Are Valid

We Should Be Lifting Teachers Up, Not Cutting Them Down - Their Feelings Are Valid

Teachers, the current situation isn’t fair and it’s okay to be upset about it. First of all, the lack of consensus is confusing. Some of us are in classrooms teaching in person. Others are at home teaching through a screen. Many are doing a combination of in-person and remote teaching. No matter what our teaching environment looks like right now, most of us are unhappy about aspects of it. Let’s take a few minutes to explore some teacher feelings weighing on many of our shoulders.

Teacher feelings aren’t taken seriously!

We read the comments about teachers on social media. So many people seem to think teachers just need to quietly do what we’re told without the right to our own opinions or feelings. Why don’t we get to be upset about situations that impact our lives?

Bitmoji classrooms are no substitute for the real thing!

No matter how cute we make it, it doesn’t ease the ache of not being with our students in what used to be the normal way. Yes, it’s a way to engage students in a fun way, but engagement is so much more fulfilling when actual human students are physically in front of us. 

We want to see our students’ full faces!  

And for them to see ours. We understand and support the need for masks. Being unable to see facial expressions is tough, though. So much is communicated through facial expressions – student to teacher, teacher to student, student to student, teacher to teacher, etc. We want to smile at our students to let them know it’s going to be okay. We’ll miss seeing their smiling faces, too.

Google Meets are just not the same as meeting in person!

We want to sit in a circle on the carpet to make plans for the week. We want to meet with the clubs we sponsor, to accompany the debate team to competitions, and to cheer on the teams we coach on game day. School is about more than just academics and we hate that our students are missing out.

We want to hug our students!

They’re scared and worried. We want to comfort them with hugs, to greet them with handshakes, and to congratulate them for hanging in there with a high five. We understand social distancing has to come first, but we miss physical contact. 

We miss the energy of teaching a full classroom!

Teaching virtually just doesn’t feel the same for most of us who are used to teaching in person. We want to feel the energy of everyone in the same room, learning and discovering together. We want to look into our students’ eyes as they light up with excitement when they finally grasp a tough concept. Even if we’re in the same classroom, social distancing and masks change the vibe. 

We can’t do it all! 

Many of us are teaching students in person, while other students are watching the lesson live-streamed at home. Then we might have a totally different set of students the next day due to rotating schedules. Others are strictly teaching remotely while trying to get to know students and parents they’ve never met in person. It all just feels like too much to effectively handle. 

This is going to be so expensive!

Listen, we immediately knew there weren’t going to be enough Lysol wipes and bottles of hand sanitizer provided by the school. We’re going to have to hunt these items down on the black market and find a way to pay for them all year because we want to keep ourselves and our students healthy. We’ve also had to come up with solutions for keeping books and materials safe from cross-contamination – also out of our pockets. If we’re teaching remotely, there are subscriptions and memberships we know will improve learning for our students, and so we pay for those ourselves. We spend too much of our own money each year, but it’s an even harder pill to swallow this year with funds extra tight for most of us. 

We don’t have the answers!

Our students and their parents look to us for answers. But we just don’t know all the answers. We want to reassure everyone, but we just don’t know what’s going to happen or what this school year is going to look like. Uncertainty is scary, no matter your age or profession. 

So let’s all take a few minutes today to call a friend and vent. Teacher feelings are valid and we all need a safe space to process them. Then we’ll do what we always do: put our own frustrations aside and figure out how to make our students have the best year possible. We’ll learn to connect with our students through screens, masks, and distance. We’ll give our all to keep them safe, engaged in learning, and enjoying the classroom experience, no matter what that looks like.

Also Check Out:

We Should Be Lifting Teachers Up, Not Cutting Them Down - Their Feelings Are Valid

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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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