“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning. Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honor for me.” This quote is from a teacher the name is unknown, but the quote is powerful.
This week’s column will feature the teachers of 2020. All week long as I watched more and more schools in our area and across the country open, I couldn’t help but think of the teacher of today.
When I retired after 35 years of teaching, I could still remember how it felt at the beginning of the school year, every year. I was still excited and loved getting to know the students, I loved hearing the buses as they would bring the kids on their first day of school. I loved the ‘show,’ you know the choice of what outfit to wear on the first day and then seeing everyone’s reaction to that choice. It didn’t matter, young or old all were looking for what that first day would bring them.
I am thankful that I am not a teacher in 2020. The ‘first day’ I remember wasn’t like any other ever before this year. Not only, did most of our teachers have so much on their minds, they had to have two first days. Who does that? What I am sure of is that those wonderful people who take care of our kids were happy to see the kids and were hoping they would be able to meet their students’ needs in light of uncertainty day after day.
I saw so many posts and things in the Spring about how much parents truly learned how special their children’s teachers were and they so many said they would never ‘bad mouth’ teachers again. My prayer is that those same people will continue and remember that as our teachers are being asked to do a job that they love, but along with that, they are being asked to do more things than they ever thought they would ever have to do.
There is not enough coffee in all of Scioto County to help them through this school year! Our teachers are being asked to be everything for everyone and of course, their salary is the same and I have yet to hear them complain like most of us would if our jobs asked us to do more for the same or less.
The teacher of Fall 2020 is now teacher, guard, health care worker, tech guru, comforter, actor, tutor online for those who are not in-person, and at the same time assure their students’ parents and guardians that they are protecting their children and teaching them at the same time. Keep in mind, not only are they doing all of this, they are spending even more time on their teaching job, as they have many different ways that they have to be teacher right now.
Most of them have kids and families of their own, so they are having to make sure someone else is making sure their own kids are doing their school work on the days they are home on these split days, while they are at school teaching others. I’m tired just talking about all they do, I can’t imagine how tired and drained they will get with all of this.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved teaching nothing gave me more pleasure than being a teacher, but even at the best of times, teaching can drain you, it is of no fault to the kids or anyone else. I used to say, that it may not be a physically draining job in the hot sun, but mentally it is stressful. Let’s triple that with the school year and that is what our very special teachers are doing to try to teach their students.
What can you do to make sure your children’s’ teacher is feeling appreciated? You may not be able to buy them a cup of coffee with the new rules, but a note of thanks and encouragement will do wonders. If you wnat to do something monetary, with the none sharing of any supplies, and kids supposed to bring everything they need, there will be many in classrooms that will not have things they need, school supplies for the teacher to be able to give to those kids would be great. (You can be sure that if kids don’t have things, the teachers will be spending their own money to get them, because they don’t want anyone left out.) Send in pencils, paper, crayons, pens, glue, and any other thing you would send with your child, write a little note to say hope this helps.
I know I spent my entire column on teachers, but we all know they deserve it, as it won’t get any easiere at least for quite a while. Hats off to all of you teacher out there, we do appreciate everything you are doing!
I will have more things especially for those who are doing more of the virtual learning in the weeks to come. I have heard that many of you are struggling with getting Google Classroom and I am still going to look into ways I may be able to help you as you are learning and hopefully make it easier for you.
Have fun with your children this week, it will make you and them feel better. Keep in mind. I try to do my best to find things that are not a ton of work for you.
Let me know any ideas you have or what you would like to see and I’ll get right on it for you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember to be kind to each other and continue to set a good example for our children.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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