June 23rd, 2020

Thank a Teacher


I’ll start of by saying: yes, I am a little late with this post, based off of my original intention to post something every two months. But I have been rethinking that. While sticking to a rigid schedule will ensure that I post something every two months, I’m not sure how sustainable that is in the long term. In fact, it seems better to only write stuff when I’m in the mood to write it, not in order to meet my personal blog post quota. And with that, I am officially announcing that this blog is moving away from the “one post every two months” model and towards the “posts will be here when I am in the mood to bring them here” model.

So with that out of the way, I’ll begin today’s actual post.

Well, this has been a crazy school year for literally everyone. For many reasons.

But what made the 2019-2020 school year define crazy was COVID-19. One day we were at school, the next day we were not. And the rest, well, is history at this point. This is not the post where I discuss the whole virus and its impacts, but what I will discuss here is remote learning.

You see, after the virus spread like wildfire and killed so many in its path, we just simply couldn’t go to school anymore. And just like that, we were out of school. And the entire world shutdown. And we still needed an education.

So what does the school do? Begin remote learning! Now, while it was honestly not the best it could have been (not once did I have an actual live learning session; lessons were all prerecorded videos), it was still an incredible feat for each and every teacher. While some might have found it easy, others had to spend hours upon hours adjusting to this new norm, putting their own children behind, scrambling to teach all of their students. It must have been a nightmare.

I was on a Zoom call for English class one day when my English teacher was screen sharing and accidentally showed an email she’d written to a student. It was only there for about five seconds before she quickly closed the Chrome tab, but it was enough to read the subject line of “are you okay?” and spot a fragment of the body paragraph reading “your teachers are worried about you.” Clearly, that student had trouble adjusting to remote learning. Now, if I were a teacher, dealing with that one kid alone would be extremely stressful and saddening. But in a school of 1500 kids, there’s a good chance that many more were like that, leaving teachers to likely have to deal with multiple. I could only imagine the mental toll that must take on teachers.

And besides — who knows what teachers have been going through themselves? Perhaps their parents or other close family member got COVID-19, or even they themselves. Regardless, it must have been a scary experience.

I’ve always been a firm believer in thanking your teachers. I have written thank you emails to some of my favorites over the years on the last day of school, and have thanked each and every one in person at some point. I urge you to do the same each and every year, but especially this year — a year where a pandemic is hindering them from simply doing what they love to do. We need more positivity in this world, especially now, and it all starts with going to your favorite email client and sending your teachers a simple “Thank You.” Will that put a smile on their face? Of course! And you’ll also notice a smile on yours, too.