As we venture into new territory with schools beginning to reopen, please remember to be kind to our teachers. We’re asking a lot of them.
They’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. No matter where you land on the open-school debate during a pandemic, we think it’s fair to say teachers have been unfairly used as cannon fodder.
We’re asking them to teach both in-person and online classes, in some cases simultaneously. Design lesson plans, assignments and tests for a multitude of possible outcomes.
We’re asking them to meet people where they’re at and teach them a thing or two while they’re at it. We’re asking them to be the vanguards of their students' health and enforce policies that were written sometimes just days before in an ever-changing pandemic.
We’re asking them to potentially risk their health to educate others. Needless to say, they’ve got a lot on their plates. This applies from kindergarten all the way up through graduate school.
Try not to be too critical of our educators. They can’t be all things to all students. That’s simply an unrealistic expectation.
If they’re slow to grade something, post something or seem to be struggling, give them the benefit of the doubt. They deserve patience. They’ve been so patient with us when we struggle to grasp a topic or concept. Let’s return the favor.
Give our teachers a bit of grace this year. It’s not fair to expect them to be experts in all of these new things we’ve thrown at them. They’ve had to make a lot of changes and adapt in a short order. If they’re starting to slip, it’s likely because they’re overloaded and not deliberately negligent.
There’s no reason to go full (as the folks on the Internet say) "Karen" on them if they make a mistake.
This might be hard for concerned parents, anxious students and busy administrators, but keep in mind that the COVID-19 situation has been hard on everyone. There are still plenty of us taking it one day at a time because that’s all we can handle.
If you notice a teacher going above and beyond their call of duty, say thank you or find a way to show your appreciation. They need our support right now.
This semester will be a learning experience for everyone. Let’s all go into it with the spirit of an open mind and full heart.