To the Tired Teachers in the Year of the Crisis


To the tired teachers, thank you. Thank you one million times over.

Teachers were leaving. Teachers were readying to exit with furor in larger numbers than ever before. Not because they determined overnight to leave, but because they toiled for multiple school years over the decision. Several polls during the past winter showed nearly 50% of K12 teachers in America were considering leaving the profession. Teachers were exhausted from over a decade of poor education reforms that had led to everything from prescribed curriculum dictated by standardized tests to unfair evaluations that pivoted the strong schools to remain strong and the “weak schools” to remain weak, to the parents wagging their fingers of blame for their children’s behavioral and mental health challenges. And teachers weren’t to blame in any of these cases, but more importantly, they weren’t being heard. Here in Indiana, the state government collectively watched over 20,000 teachers march in a peaceful protest in November, but yet, they didn’t respect their vocal concerns enough to prioritize those listed items up for discussion in the 2020 sessions thereafter. 

Then overnight, the world changed. Schools were in this “gray area” for a few days – to close or not to close? The arguments for remaining open had little to do with the actual learning, and you know why? Because everyone – administrators, government leaders, and parents – knew, they just knew that teachers would make the miracle of learning happen somehow. It was all the other parts of a school that caused alarm to close – the meals, the provided therapies, the SUPERVISION of kids (trust me, there are plenty of parents with teens over age 14 who know in their gut that the school is still very much “babysitting” their able-bodied but attitude-filled offspring for those eight hours each day). Parents realize now, the trench that teachers have been in. They realize that it’s not the “teacher’s fault” their child refuses to complete assignments or pay attention. They realize it’s not the “teacher’s fault” that the school may have upwards of 35 students in a class as parents take a look at a full Zoom screen. They realize that it’s not the “teacher’s fault” the school may have chosen to fund football programs but not technology devices. 

To the tired teachers, answering emails at 7 am and 7 pm, and even 11:30 pm, we see you. To the creative teachers who have rigged up a home classroom and made phenomenal, engaging, joyful interactions for your students, we see you. This Teacher Appreciation Week in 2020, the year of coronavirus, we appreciate you now more than ever. America is grateful for the teachers trying to make this new world work. I cannot guarantee that the government leaders will look to revolutionize the career field, but I can promise you that enough government officials are getting the first-hand visual of just how flimsy the recent reforms in education genuinely are.

Dear Teachers, when the end of May comes, or the beginning of June, and you have sent your current students onward in life, in the most bizarre context of any school year in history, I hope you realize that while the heroes tackling the front lines were in hospitals, YOU were the heroes AT HOME. There are not enough words to thank you for your collective work and reinvention of the wheel to assist students across income levels and household dynamics. I truly hope that the appreciation of teachers is so sincerely heartfelt and widespread that when the first day occurs for schools to reconvene, there will be celebrations for all the teachers who wore the capes and came to the rescue that spring of 2020. Because maybe now, only after a mass disaster unlike any in history, that collective appreciation of a nation, will keep the 50% from deciding to leave after all.

Gracias. Merci. Grazie. Danke. Mahalo.


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Anne Beal
Anne is a an ambitious free spirit with a passion to interact with moms from all walks of the journey. She loves her job as a doula through a local hospital network as well as private clients, assisting moms through labor and birth. In addition, she teaches adults part-time as they work toward their career goals and earn their high school diplomas "later in life." Nothing keeps her busier, however, than her toddler son and dogs named Whitney Houston and Patches. Her goal is to stimulate conversations through blog posts that are sometimes provocative, quirky, and occasionally controversial, but always unique!