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    Teachers Are Pointing Out The Things People Don't Understand About Teaching During The Pandemic, And This Is So Important

    "There's an entire group of parents teaching their kids that nothing is ever their fault."

    Recently, the New York Times published an article exploring some of the unique difficulties teachers have faced during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Teacher at chalkboard

    We asked teachers in the BuzzFeed Community to voice their current struggles so we could find out exactly what educators are dealing with every day. Here's what they had to say:

    1. "Parents are more horrible than normal this year."

    "Last year, it was 'Thank you for all you do!' And this year, it’s 'Nothing you do is good enough.' As someone who teaches high school in Arizona, I am not being paid enough for this."

    Julia

    2. "Since we don't have a computer teacher, I've also become a de facto computer teacher for first through fourth grades."

    "I have to do all sorts of other stuff between educational technology and my teaching responsibilities."

    SKipnees

    "We are not technology experts!!!"

    amylouisevictoria96

    3. "The many heartbreaking and difficult phone conversations I had with not just my students but also their parents on the phone during lockdown."

    "I would call a few parents every week to check in on them. One lost five relatives. I’m not trained or equipped to deal with this kind of bereavement."

    nadiaz4da7dd1c0


    Teacher comforting sad student

    4. "My preschoolers have no social skills, no emotional regulation, and no idea how to play with anyone."

    "A lot of the little ones are operating at an 18-month maturity. Not only is it difficult to teach 19 preschoolers how to do the school thing, but it’s so challenging to just teach them how to be away from their parents and homes."

    MMcK

    5. "It’s so emotionally draining every day, but you have to be the strong one for those kids."

    "The entire pandemic has affected these kids' home lives, which, as a teacher, you have to keep in mind when teaching. Teaching has always been about caring for children, but now it’s every student in your class, your staff, and even kids who aren’t in your class."

    beccal4526e0a84

    6. "Even though I had COVID last year and I’ve been double-vaccinated since, I’m still slightly panicked about being at work."

    "I’m currently seven months pregnant. I don’t really have any choice other than to go into work, surrounded by hundreds of children who have questionable hygiene practices even at the best of times. I worry daily about catching COVID again, especially as I know it can be more serious in the third trimester."

    nadiaz4da7dd1c0

    Pregnant teacher

    7. "Nobody, especially parents, understands just how academically, emotionally, and socially behind our students are."

    "Yet the same standards and expectations apply. It's incredibly frustrating."

    mad woman

    8. "We have had to add policing masks on top of other duties. It has been a real struggle."

    juliel41333e050

    9. "Being expected to be a teacher and a counselor."

    "As teachers, we have always been expected to go above and beyond, but with the needs of students rising during the pandemic, there is only more being added to our plate."

    zerfgirl06

    Teacher sitting in front of a blackboard and reading something

    10. "There's an entire group of parents teaching their kids that nothing is ever their fault."

    "My friend (high school teacher) and I (former teacher) went to a high school where there was a pretty high-profile school shooting. We both have survivor's guilt over it, years later, still asking ourselves if there was something we could have done — even though we had absolutely nothing to do with the actual shooting.

    "When COVID started, we both immediately supported mask and distancing policies because we didn't want students to go through the same kind of guilt we did. Neither of us wanted to have a student ask themself, Did I infect my teacher? Did I infect my friend?

    "What we've seen instead, though, is parents teaching their kids that they don't have to take responsibility, ever. So we've been supporting these policies in an attempt to protect kids who aren't capable of guilt or shame."

    lifegivesmemelons

    11. "During the height of remote learning, there were a lot of academic struggles."

    "I teach first grade in a Title I school, where most parents are essential workers. Many of my students didn’t have someone at home who was able to help them (totally not anyone’s fault, please don’t get me wrong). My students were really struggling. I had multiple children who couldn’t even write their names, even when looking at a model. It’s heartbreaking."

    ari

    12. "I’ve changed my anxiety medication twice this year alone, and I am more stressed now than I was my first year teaching, which is saying something."

    Julia

    Person crying

    13. "We are still so underfunded: no supplies, oversize classes, and no raises."

    "I am fifth-year teacher, department chair, with a master's degree, and I can barely make rent each month."

    Madeleine Elster

    14. "I have one class I can barely get to speak and interact because they don't remember how."

    "More fights, higher tempers. They don't understand the concept of a deadline because many places gave them until the end of the quarter to get things turned in and got full credit in some cases."

    juliel41333e050

    15. "We are told to be easy on the kids because it’s been such a hard period for them. That is true, but no one is easy on us."

    "I live with at-risk people, and I still had to work to pay the bills. But I also had all this extra work and stress dealing with behavioral issues, and no support from admin."

    silentmeadow

    Teacher in front of a class

    16. "I think it’s teaching in such a constant state of chaos and confusion."

    "One minute we’re at school, then we’re back in lockdown, then only some groups are back, etc. It just takes so long to get the kids back into any kind of routine and stability, and it’s exhausting! We’re dealing with little growing minds and bodies — who struggle to regulate emotions at the best of times — in a classroom of 25-plus students."

    libby77

    17. And finally, "There are no subs right now."

    "When one of my organs failed, my principal recommended not doing therapy to try to save the organ and just going to the ER to get it removed, preferably over the weekend, so that I could be back to teach in person on Monday. I said no to that. Because I ran out of PTO and sick leave, I was required to return to work eight days after surgery. When some of the boys got into a fight and pushed a desk into me, reopening my surgery wounds, my principal wouldn't let me take the afternoon off because no one else could watch the kids. I went back upstairs, put a movie on for the kids, and typed up my resignation. I was a teacher for 10 years, and I will NEVER teach again."

    theKatherine

    Teachers, have you faced any other struggles while working during the pandemic? Let us know in the comments below.

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.