A weird thing happened at the beginning of the pandemic. If only for a brief moment in time, it seemed like the rest of the world appreciated teachers. Parents almost–DARE I SAY!–respected us!
But, as per usual, teachers quickly went from hero to zero as the pandemic wore on and frustrated parents decided the health and well-being of everyone else wasn’t as important as their kid’s babysitter.
I mean, educator.
Too harsh? Look, I know online and at-home learning threw a huge curve ball at parents, too. Some lost income having to stay home with their kids; others risked grandparents’ health needing them for childcare. We all lost our damn minds trying to figure out all the different learning platforms. It wasn’t a good situation. But at the end of the day, millions of fingers were pointing directly at teachers, calling us lazy, saying we didn’t want to work. Yeah, because the pandemic made everything soooo much easier for us…These criticisms came only a few months after parents had lauded us as half intelligent, hardworking human beings. I guess they got tired of walking a mile in our shoes.
Even pre-pandemic, parents’ blame game was strong, condemning teachers when anything went wrong: student earned low grades, student was challenged by the content, student had difficulty learning, student didn’t enjoy the lesson, student learned something new, but didn’t like it…The list goes on. It seems like the days of solving problems in-house (read: being responsible for our children) are over. Sure, it’s easier to have someone else to fix all the things and teachers are an easy scapegoat, but holy out of control, Batman!
Because if we don’t start doubling down on our parenting instead of expecting the world to accommodate our kids, we’re not doing any favors for anyone. What we are doing is guaranteeing a future of entitled adults who don’t know how to handle adversity. The longer we insist on hand-picking the people and situations our kids can interact with, the more difficult we will make their adulthood. The world is full of people who are different from us and circumstances we cannot control; now is the perfect time to start practicing how to live in that world. Teachers will thank you.