What a strange and enlightening time we are in.

I, and numerous other parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and caretakers have had to take on roles we never thought we would. I believe that has led to an appreciation of one of the true heroes that are often underappreciated and rarely celebrated – that of our teachers. They are the unsung heroes of our lives. Let’s all take a moment to appreciate them, celebrate them, and my hope is we will reward them in kind.

Personally, I can’t imagine what it takes to teach a group of diverse students from different backgrounds, with different levels of support at home, with a diverse set of learning challenges, who may also have home challenges. To prepare to have them learn important skills and impart knowledge that will not only shape their future, but the future of the world is daunting when you think about it. These children will grow up to be the next generation of teachers, scientists, engineers, doctors, politicians, entrepreneurs, etc. The responsibility that teachers have is immense. I admire them and am grateful for them. Personally, I have always had that admiration.

Then, the Coronavirus pandemic…. Schools closed without notice or preparation. They thought they were on spring break, then an extended spring break. Then, they were told they were out for a while, then till the end of the school year. They would be required to teach virtually. Many students did not have internet, laptops, anyone at home to help them or anyone at home to be with them. Some live in situations that are not healthy in many ways. AND the teachers have not been trained to teach virtually, nor do they have time to get trained or get the resources they need. However, teach they must.

In my granddaughter’s school district, they had 1 week after being told they were not returning to get computers to kids, get their resources and lesson plans online. I cannot even imagine what that was like for them – many of whom have their own young children, etc. They persevered. They are doing it.

I have been helping my granddaughter by working with her on two subjects by zoom two days a week for an hour at a time. I have to tell you – it is really challenging. I train adults. I don’t teach children, don’t have the training to do it, nor the desire…yet, here we are. My daughter and son-in-law are teaching her too, after long days of work (both work in the medical field so are essential workers). My granddaughter also has ADHD which is challenging in person, let alone virtually!  The lesson plans are actually fairly simple, but they are not easy to follow. If I were evaluating, I would say the lessons and the teachers are not good… and then I realized they don’t have any experience or training in teaching like this and yet, they are doing it. That gave me the appreciation of how heroic they really are. They are doing an amazing job. That is what had me think about this and want to write about it.

I have heard from many parents who are teaching how much they now have a deep appreciation for teachers. It is my hope that when the world goes back to a new normal and kids go to school again, we will all show our gratitude for what these unsung heroes do. Let’s also insure they are paid what they are worth. Next time there is a chance to vote on something that will give them a raise, let’s do it. They deserve our thanks and to be rewarded for the contribution they make to our future.

Stay safe. Stay well. Thank an unsung hero.