To Our Teachers: Thank You For Everything

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It’s no secret that parents everywhere have had it up to here with online learning. Getting our kids to settle down in front of an iPad, computer monitor or laptop—without it being some kind of cartoon, video about unboxing toys or games—and asking them to do school work is tough enough work as it is. After all, when we paid for our child’s tuition, having to teach them ourselves is not what we signed up for. But the same goes for our teachers. No thanks to Covid-19, they’ve had to pull up their bootstraps and say hello to the world of online learning.  From lectures on Zoom, to magically crafting beautiful slides meant to get the kids excited about learning—they’re doing it all. The worst part? Many of them are getting pay cuts or worse, not receiving any pay at all. 

How do they do it?

As a mom currently homeschooling a preschooler (with a lot of help from a very patient husband), the amount of energy my son’s teachers have every day amazes me. To be honest, I have no idea how teachers do it. Looking after a class of 15 kids (who mostly aren’t paying attention) takes crazy amounts of patience, commitment and persistence. You guys are freaking superheroes! Somehow, you manage to make my son laugh, encourage him to participate and sing along to your songs WHILE maintaining your cool. I don’t know about the rest of you moms, but sometimes, I find myself questioning my mothering abilities because I can’t seem to get through an online learning session without gritting my teeth or muttering a few curse words. 

Teachers are everyday heroes

With the delay of the reopening in schools in our midst and no definite date on what the future holds for our teachers, the best we can do is take a deep breath as we guide our kids through another frustrating online class. And before we lose our tempers, we should think about the teachers who have worked tirelessly through the nights to prepare for the next day’s lessons. 

We need to understand that as frustrated as we may be about homeschooling, teachers feel even worse. “For us teachers, the most frustrating thing to read on social media or even in mainstream news are comments like parents should be paid because they are the ones doing the job of the teachers anyway.” shares a teacher. “I understand that it is difficult for parents because they’ve suddenly been given the additional task of teaching their kids (after paying much in tuition fees) but it doesn’t mean that the teachers are doing nothing or they are doing less. Lessons that used to take us one hour to prepare now take us at least a day to make.” 

Here’s what some other teachers have to say:

“I wish parents would understand that now, more than ever, we need to work together—that we need to genuinely collaborate. We have the same goal, which is to help our students—your children—learn while having fun, no matter how challenging this new set-up might be.” 

“I hope parents would understand that online learning can be productive and engaging, given the appropriate tools and learning activities.”

“We are partners. We need your help to make this work. Online learning is quite challenging now as this is new to us but we know it will work. We did not learn this overnight. We took time to study developmentally-appropriate activities that we can do online. No plan is tailor-made for each child. Every time we plan, we consider the limitations we have compared with face-to-face learning.” 

Has online learning brought out the worst in us? Photography: Thomas Park via Unsplash

What we can do

The pandemic has thrown some pretty crazy curveballs everyone’s way—especially teachers.  They’ve dedicated their careers to transforming our kids’ lives, staying fully committed to their purpose, despite what Covid-19’s thrown at them. So how do we show appreciation for these real-life superheroes? We need to show them that we are willing to work together, that we are partners in our child’s educational journey. We need to be more understanding, especially during these trying times. Mom Justine Bellosillo agrees: “When I sat and listened in with my preteen attending his classes, I noticed just how hard these teachers make an effort for our kids to learn,” she explains. “When one of the teachers opened up to the students saying how the teachers showed their work spaces and made sure they added more gadgets out of their expenses just to help them teach the kids, my heart was literally so full and at the same time, breaking.” 

As parents, we are the biggest fans of our kids— we can vouch for that. But for teachers to show the same love towards our kids just takes it to a whole other level of amazing. Through the years, they’ve inspired them, nurtured them to become good human beings. Let’s show our gratitude to these tireless heroes: Thank you for everything that you do, teachers!