Teachers – Our Other Super Heroes

May 4th, 2020

Category: News

Understandably, many of us have a newfound appreciation for those risking their lives in our hospitals, delivering our food, and on the front lines as police and first responders. They all deserve every ounce of praise we can give them. But as this is Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4-8), I wanted to offer some words of praise for our other Super Heroes, our teachers.

We recently did a survey of more than 850 Delawareans, most of them educators, and we heard loud and clear the frustration and pain many of them felt in moving to a remote learning environment, pretty much overnight. We heard comments like…

    • “Having a difficult time getting families to consistently participate in the learning opportunities being provided. What is the expectation on the part of the teachers and families, and what is the best way to ensure that kids are getting the same opportunities?”​

     

    • “This Schoology thing is WAY too much and we have to do lessons. We hardly had training and I have tech issues daily. Either through parents or files not uploading and Zoom freezes during instruction.​”

     

    • “My neediest kids are not being helped at home. They have the Wi-Fi and the devices. They just don’t have an adult to work with them.​”

Some of the educators I’ve spoken with are putting in 13-15 hour days, often through the weekends. They are not only working to figure out creative ways to engage their students in this new format, they are tracking them down, feeding them, customizing follow-up support, and offering virtual “office hours.” They are truly feeling for the challenges of students for whom this format is tough, or just doesn’t work. (I have two kids experiencing high school and college online right now. For one, it’s a breeze, for the other, it’s just not working.)

At Rodel, we are currently working with a broad range of teacher preparation programs, the state, and a couple of districts and one of the toughest things for me to hear was that the young aspiring teachers in our high school “teacher academies” were often told by their families and their teachers that this wasn’t a great career choice. We need to flip that narrative.

As someone who taught for seven years, I always share that teaching was some of the most rewarding work of my life. How often can you say you actually changed the trajectory of another person’s life? In my late 20s, I felt like I could say that, and I am forever grateful.

Now, more than ever, we need to appreciate the heroic work of our teachers. I know they are missing “their kids” and doing whatever it takes to reach them. So, this week in particular, let them know you appreciate what they do.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week. Click here to read about what some of Delaware’s heroic teachers are up to during the COVID-19 crisis.

Author:
Paul Herdman

pherdman@rodelde.org

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