What You Need To Know About Your Children’s Teachers
The majority of your children’s teachers have children of their own. They are parents whose concerns, worries, and responsibilities are exactly like yours. In other words they get where you’re coming from, and they care.
Being parents, they’re balancing homeschooling their own children while simultaneously distance teaching yours. They juggle, they contort and at the end of the day, they’ve managed to take care of their own children, and to provide your children with an opportunity to learn and to connect with their school friends.
Your children’s teachers look forward to seeing your children. It makes life seem more normal for them. It comforts them to see your children’s faces. It lets them know that the kids are all right, and that we’ve all survived another day. They worry about your children, and sometimes they see their own children’s faces reflected in the eyes of the students looking on at them at a Google Meet. And sometimes they wonder if anything they do is ever going to be enough.
Your children’s teachers know that it’s their jobs as parents to make sure that their children tune in and show up in time for their distance learning. They know that they need to be on top of their children’s assignments and provide them something to do in addition to screen time. Your children’s teachers don’t want their children’s teachers to replace them or become baby sitters. They understand how difficult it is to work and take care of children, but they signed on for both tasks when they chose to become parents. So they are sensitive to the demands that you face.
Your children’s teachers work very long days. Often they’re planning a lesson or writing a parent as a late-night talk show plays in the background, or while nursing a baby, or while running in to comfort their own child having a nightmare.
Your children’s teachers are as tired and stressed out as you are. They are aware that they can’t lash out at anyone around them, because there are so many precious, sensitive souls that depend on them. Supportive spouses are a saving grace.
So as you look over the shoulder of your child and see the teacher working with the class, look in her eyes, and you might just see yourself. She looks like a juggler, a therapist, a cheerleader, a saint; saving her part of the world, that just happens to include your child.
-Doug Weisberger is a 5th grade teacher at Washington School, in Millburn, New Jersey, Randolph resident, former Board of Education Member, and the father of 3 children. The views expressed are his own.
© Doug Weisberger May, 2020