Education Parenting

Mom’s Post About Crying Teacher Reminds Us That None of This Is Their Fault

We're all struggling. Let's remember not to take it out on the teachers.

Ask me how virtual learning went for my 3 kids, and I’ll sum it up in one word: SHITSHOW. (Or is that two words? Doesn’t matter, it’s terrible either way.)

Have you ever tried working from home full time while navigating Seesaw and Google Classroom and forcing your kindergartner to trace letters and helping your child with a disability type his daily journal out on Google docs between his sobs and attempting but failing to help your 7th grader not completely bomb his math test which apparently in new math covers concepts you never even got to in all four years of high school???

Of course you have. Because we’re all in this shitshow together.

So you know how hard it is. You know how absolutely soul-sucking, gut-wrenching, and impossible it is. You know.

It’s easy, when we’re caught up in our own frustration and that of our kids, when we’re not measuring up in any aspect of our lives, to take it all out on the people we see as orchestrating this nightmare — the teachers.

But it’s NOT their fault. None of this is. And we need to remember they are living through their own dystopian hell right along with us.

Reddit user meowmixalots knows it, and she has a message for the rest of us.

Posted in the r/Parenting thread, meowmixalots shared a sad but important reminder why we should be thinking of and thanking our teachers:

Not surprisingly, commenters chimed in with their own stories:

My sister in law is a teacher and it’s been so bad this year. She has parents screaming at her daily about their kids being absent in virtual classes (if they don’t log in it automatically counts then absent). She also teaching the virtual kids at the same time as a handful in person while wearing a mask, face shield, gloves, and dealing with teens complaining about social distance. Some teachers have quit. There are outbreaks that are happening and no one is even told what classroom it was. I worry for her and the other teachers 🙁

My kid’s teacher also got [emotional during] an online parent teacher conference. When I told her [how] attached my kid is to her teacher even though she has never met her in person (because she joined this school just this year), she actually turned off her video for a few seconds. On returning, her eyes were red. I think it’s also because genuinely caring teachers also miss the kids a lot. She sounds so wistful when sometimes she talks to the class about returning to regular classes and hugging all of them.

My wife has taught public school at the elementary level for 13 years now. Her experience is that many parents not only expect the teachers to teach the content but to also learn it for the kid somehow, like they’re a computer you can just upload knowledge into… any shortfall or deficiency in their child’s learning is the teachers fault. This is being amplified now when kids who used to be successful in school due to their social nature are struggling. Many people have unrealistic expectations of teachers and very low bars for themselves in terms of responsibility for the child’s education and it can really wear on the teacher’s soul. Good for you for being one of the few who realize the struggle and effort that teachers are going through right now.

Other people took the OP’s post to heart, vowing to express their gratitude:

I think this is a year where if anything goes right, we all ought to speak up and thank/express gratitude to others responsible, even if it’s something small. (Y’know, usually people only speak up when there’s a problem/complaint.) And make it a habit! I know I feel beaten and worn down, I think everyone does.

Agree. In fact reading these comments and thinking about my sons teacher, I decided to write a thank you.

I tell my son’s teacher thank you all of the time. They have so much more on their plates now, as if it wasn’t enough already.

As a teacher myself (one who’s on hiatus this year THANK GOD) who is also married to a teacher, I know how hard these educators are working. I even helped lead a department through virtual learning in the spring. And still, even with all that background in education and that inside knowledge into the inner workings of the system, I can’t do it right. I just can’t.

I’ve had my moments with my sons’ teachers this year. But in all, I am beyond impressed with what they are able to do with the pile of garbage they’ve been delivered. They’re doing more than making lemonade out of lemons — they’re saving lives in every sense of the word.

If you haven’t already, thank a teacher today. It could be the best thing to happen to them all year.