Keeping Calm in Quarantine: Thank You, Teachers!


Ethan Hoppe

Teaching when you are in the classroom, able to give concrete help to students, is hard, to say the least. Occasionally it is slightly harder because of the students if you know what I mean.

Teaching in-person is challenging as it is but remotely teaching when you cannot be in class, face to face, when you canʻt offer specific directions when you donʻt have the many advantages of being with your students, it is absolutely grueling. 

In this time of great uncertainty and struggle, it is important to remain not only positive but also take the time to be more grateful.

Though not in the classroom this week is Teacher Appreciation week. This should not go unrecognized, especially considering the difficulties placed on our teachers.   

Teachers have always had a difficult job, this is not news. With the stay-home-orders and self-isolation in effect, teachers have a new set of duties and challenges. 

As someone who comes from a family of educators, quarantined in a house of educators, it is very clear that there are new challenges and a strain placed on our teachers due to this strain of the Coronavirus.

Teachers not only have to find a way to adapt their rubrics so that they can allow learning over the internet, but they also have to create packets and provide resources for those students who are unable to complete the work online.

Teachers overnight adjusted to do what they could to support access to continued learning. Finding ways to reach students no matter the situation so that students may continue to learn. 

Not only that, but teachers also have this new challenge, finding a way to gauge where their students are and provide the necessary aid to these students. This includes trying to identify students who are struggling just in general and ensuring that they get the help they need (or outreach to those who are ghosting their teachers).

One of the many ways teachers are connecting with their students is through modern platforms such as social media. 

Whether it be through the incredible initiatives that student governments and student unions are doing or teachers informing their students about what is due, many are thankful that teachers are taking advantage of new technologies.  

Scrolling mindlessly through Instagram, I happened upon my 4th period, algebra teacher’s most recent post detailing coping strategies and ways to remain calm in quarantine.

For many students, a school is a safe place where they interact with supervising and responsible adults. Without school, it is easy to fall out of schedule and rhythm, even easier is it to find yourself in a dark place when you have no support system and no rhythm. 

Words cannot describe how important stress on mental wellness and self-care is at this time. 

Seeing how much these teachers are invested in our wellbeing and seeing that this teacher would go out of her way to try to make sure that her students are all right in this moment of stress, was incredible and heart-lifting.

Talking about invested; Recently there has been an “infectious disease” running in my house; it’s called meetings that educators are holding in order to make up time with their students. 

My auntie with her 8-month-old, taking on these 2 hour long calls in order to ensure that her students are okay and taken care of, is incredibly inspiring and it gives us a slight understanding of what teachers are going through.

Like all of us sheltering in place and working from home, teachers are finding ways to balance their work and their home life. 

Another reason why teachers are so important, they take all of us moody and vim filled kids off the hands of our parents. Unfortunately, some teachers double as parents and so the challenge only grows.

Teaching from home and balancing home life is a challenge, holed up in bedrooms, dealing with complaints, and screaming babies. I can imagine how hard it is for teachers who also are caregivers for Kūpuna, for teachers who are providers and teachers in general at this time. 

Somehow, however, teachers are able to find a way to keep our minds active, to make sure that students are learning no matter what.  

We are in uncharted waters and this time offers new challenges to all of us but teachers are engaging us and are an essential part of our day and life and this quarantine only stresses the importance of their work in our society.   

Knowing the amount of work and time that teachers dedicate to their students, in general, but especially in this time of crisis, I cannot stress to you teachers how thankful I am. How thankful I am sure my peers are. 

Teaching has been greatly unappreciated for so long. With these new challenges, teachers are presented with incredibly different obstacles and though it is easy to forget them and their strife we cannot do that.

For this teacher appreciation week, for any teacher, whoever you are, whatever you teach. Thank you. Thank you so much.