‘We’re reminding children 57 times a day to wash their hands. We’re gathering lesson plans for a month. We’re on the front lines.’: Teacher reminds us ‘give the teachers in your life a little extra love’ during coronavirus outbreak

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“Check on your teacher, friends! Seriously! Send them a big virtual hug.

In my 20-something years of teaching, this has been the hardest time of my career. I can’t speak for all teachers. I know every school, district, and state is handling this pandemic differently. But teachers all over the country are working their butts off. We’re on the front lines.

We’re learning new technology at a moment’s notice and then turning around and teaching it to our students and their parents.

We’re gathering supplies and lesson plans for a month, or possibly two or three, to make sure distance-learning continues to happen.

We are cleaning every surface of our classroom, desks, pencils, markers, light switches, and sinks five times a day to ensure the health and safety of our students.

Courtesy of Jennifer Koteles

We’re transforming areas of our houses to look like mini classrooms; hanging posters, buying whiteboards, making sure we have all the materials we need to teach from home.

We are lugging these materials back-and-forth to school every single day, three months of supplies and lessons, to make sure we have everything we need at home just in case we shut down.

Courtesy of Jennifer Koteles

We’re answering dozens of emails a night about why things won’t load or why the technology is glitching when we don’t really know ourselves.

We’re calmly and patiently trying to ease our children’s anxiety and fears, their parents’ anxiety and fears, and the administration‘s anxiety and fears about the unknown of what will happen when school closes.

We’re calmly and patiently reminding children 57 times a day not to pick their nose and asking them sweetly to wash their hands when they don’t listen to us.

So send in reinforcements! Coffee, wine, chocolate… you know the major food groups. Or maybe give them one of 37 bottles of Purell you’ve hoarded in your basement. Just give the teachers in your life a little extra love!”

Courtesy of Jennifer Koteles

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jennifer Koteles, a second-grade teacher from New Jersey. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more stories about the coronavirus:

‘Today I cried. Not because I’m stressed out or scared. I cried because of a 92-year-old man.’: Woman says ‘forget about the 75 rolls of toilet paper you think you need and think about the 92-year-old man’

‘I cancelled our baby shower. Suitcases out, cookies, decor and appetizers ordered.’: Mom to be cancels baby shower due to coronavirus ‘staying home is the most loving thing we can do at this time’

‘This virus is basically just a cold.’ School is canceled, our spring break trip isn’t happening. I’m looking at lots of time home with 5 kids.’: In the midst of coronavirus panic, mom urges ‘use this time to show kindness’

‘I was beelining it right to the water and toilet paper aisles, only to find nothing left. The anxiety kicked in.’: In the midst of Coronavirus panic, mom ‘thinks outside the box’

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