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Challenge: Back to School 2020

Dear Teachers, It's Your Job

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Your job is to educate our children. And, the truth is, you do it better than anyone else. You do it a million times better than we ever could. We tried to do it ourselves earlier this year and, trust me when I say, it wasn’t pretty. We need you now more than ever. To us parents, you are essential. You’re essential to our children, to our future, and to our livelihood.

Your job is to teach our children right from wrong. But, what is right and wrong these days? Who ever could have imagined that hugging a friend at school could be wrong? Who ever thought that wearing a mask (and face shield!) was right and would be our new normal? Thank you for navigating these muddy waters with strength and grace.

Your job is to create goals for each child to achieve by the end of the year. Goals in 2020? That feels like a bit of an oxymoron. Perhaps survival should be one of them. In all seriousness, that’s what we’re trying to do. Thank you for level-setting expectations for my children. I promise to do the same for you.

Your job is to be positive, energetic and optimistic every single day. But is that even possible given the ongoing pandemic? I can barely keep it together at my desk job. But, here you are, standing in front of countless little children, being the example of strength that they need. Thank you for showing them how to be strong even when you feel tired and weak.

Your job is to give stability and consistency to our children who need the structure of school so badly. The world may be crumbling around us, but by showing up everyday, you are my children’s constant. They love you and they need you. Thank you for being my children’s rock.

Your job is to provide our children safety and security. But is school safe? I’m sure that’s a question you ask yourself daily. I know I am. “Safe” looks a lot different this year. I promise to do my part to keep you safe and reduce the risk of community spread. Thank you for doing your part to keep my preschoolers mask on. Thank you for trying to keep my kindergartener from tackling his best friend on the playground. Thank you for putting yourself on the front line, even when it means risking your safety.

Your job is to shape our future’s littlest minds. How ironic given we don’t know what the future holds. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year. But here you are, trying your best, every damn day. Thank you for your unwavering bravery in the midst of such uncertainty. Thank you for carrying on despite what the future holds.

Your job will be harder than ever this year. Some days, it will feel down right impossible. Please remember that your job—the one you have sacrificed your life for, your financial stability for, your sanity for—isn’t just a job. It is so much more. It is hope for a future that is brighter, stronger and more beautiful than today. And, for that, I thank you.


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