Teachers, I know you’re grappling with fear as the school year approaches.
I know you must be extremely stressed.
I know that all you are doing right now is playing scenarios in your head like “what ifs” and “maybes.”
It’s a bubble of confusion and panic and you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders.
I know you want your students to come back to school in hopes of feeling some normalcy, but I also know that you’re worried coming back to school will only have the opposite effect.
A classroom filled with masks and gloves and tape on the floor indicating personal space doesn’t seem like the ideal welcoming classroom.
A classroom where you cannot see your students smile or frown.
A classroom where you cannot give your students a reassuring hug if they’re afraid on their first day of school.
A classroom where you cannot have your students hold hands and form a circle.
A classroom where Hi-5’s don’t exist.
A classroom where you unintentionally panic if you see a child getting sick - you will worry for your other students, then for yourself and your family and everyone you’ve come in contact with.
It’s not the classroom you want for your students.
I know the mental stress you’re going to endure will drain you.
I know the amount of pressure on you is immense.
I know all of this and I’m here to tell you, do what’s right for you.
For those of us who choose to send our children to school, it doesn’t mean we are overlooking you. We truly care about your well being, but we believe our children need this and it’s been tough making this decision.
And for those of us who choose to keep our children home, we do trust you, but we are too worried about them and it’s also been tough making this decision.
So teachers, whether you decide to go back to work or not, either way I support you.
If you don’t have a choice and must go back but you’re worried, I promise to do my part and make sure my children are feeling well if they come to school.
If you choose to come back, I admire your courage and I cherish it. I know the sacrifice you’re making and I will do my part; I promise.
Whatever you choose, whatever your circumstances may be, know that you are so appreciated and acknowledged.
Know that YOU are what my children look forward to when they go to school.
Know that YOU make all the difference in the world.
So, even if you decide to teach and my children cannot see your smile, your presence alone will give them a sense of normalcy.
Even if you decide to skip out this year, my children will remember you and look forward to seeing you once again.
Even if you’re told to teach virtually, know that my children will be happy to hear your voice.
And what I really want you to know, is that I appreciate you more than I can express.
I want you to know that you’re essential and fundamental in our lives and that your efforts do not go unnoticed, no matter what path you choose.
A teacher is an ever giving source of safety and love, and you will always have my support no matter what you choose to do.
Thank you for all you do.