‘You give my kids something to look forward to every day, a smile from someone outside these four walls. Has anyone asked you, ‘How are you holding up?’: Mom pens appreciation letter to teachers

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“I see you. You’re scrolling Facebook and see HUNDREDS of posts about ‘home school’ and ‘BS’ and ‘This isn’t distance learning.’ You’re seeing the applause emoji being thrown up to everyone who ‘opts out’ of school for the rest of the year. And you’re doing this late at night, or on the weekend, while you’re frantically trying to rewrite lessons so they can be done without your hands and eyes and presence. Or a printer. You’re doing it off-hours so you can be there to FaceTime and Zoom and Google Meet anyone who needs you at any time during this new ‘school day.’

Thank you. Thank you for listening to the news and complaints from people who don’t realize that you too are trying to do your job to the best of your ability while ALSO grocery shopping and protecting and cooking and parenting and stalking the Target website for hand soap to be restocked.

Thank you for giving my kids something to look forward to every day: A smile from someone outside of the walls of their own house. A connection to the classmates they miss so desperately. And YES, the foundation they are going to need in August when, God willing, they return to school safely.

Thank you for reinventing the wheel and motivating Twelve, Ten, and Eight (their ages, not their real names, but it’s easier this way) to LEARN every day, even when they are reluctant. It’s like pulling teeth to get them to take 10 minutes to put away their laundry because they would rather be jumping on the trampoline or watching YouTube, but somehow, YOU make them want to show you what they’re reading and learning and understanding every day.

Courtesy of Lindsay Chamberlain

I hope your own families are well. I hope you find balance through these coming days. Has anyone asked you, ‘How are you holding up?’

I see your kids in the background during your one-one-one chats with my sons. Yours are working with headphones on or playing in the backyard while you give my kids the attention they need and answer their questions about submitting their work.

You’re doing all this after you…

…recorded YouTube videos that will keep them interested.

…met live with an entire class of chatty elementary schoolers who had never group-Zoomed before.

…worked one-on-one with every student — multiple times a week.

And now you’re looking over what they have done, so you can give them feedback and provide each student with more of what they need.

Seriously, since mid-March, can you count past one hand how many decent nights of sleep you have gotten?

I’m in a household with two working parents, and YES, it can be hard — but has anyone even considered what would happen if remote learning was not an option?

I have three boys, so the best-case scenario in my house would be everyone rotting their brains on screens all day. The worst case would look like a scene from ‘Armageddon’ but without Ben Affleck. No, thanks.

If schools had shut down when the quarantine began, people would be SCREAMING that districts should be providing some sort of supplemental learning. But you, dear teachers, YOU, have provided my kids with so much more.

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to my kids. Those little stinkers love you more than you’ll ever discern from their random, wandering stories on Zoom while you’re trying to ask them what they thought of the virtual field trip today. For the smile you return and all your hard work, I pray that you’ll come out on the other side of this with the appreciation you deserve, a great story involving support and perseverance, and a salary like Tom Brady’s.

You deserve all that and more. Thank you.”

Courtesy of Lindsay Chamberlin
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