Still On Spring Break?

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Still On Spring Break?

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As a teacher and a parent, navigating the tricky educational waters after COVID-19 in 2020 has proven challenging. Many of my teacher friends left the profession due to unsafe working conditions and the emotional distress resulting from unsupportive school districts, irrational demands from parents, and severe behavioral issues exhibited by students coping in their own ways. In March 2020, we went on Spring Break, and some of us never came back, some literally and others emotionally.

Teachers that are still teaching – whether online or in person – are now contending with the aftermath of school closures and the intense pressure put on them to return despite concerns about safety. Teacher burnout has hit hard, and there are even some days I have to remind myself why I became a teacher. I know students are dealing with their own transition back into some kind of normalcy. My own daughters exhibit an anxiety that’s hard to miss – and something I can relate to, and I’m devastated that they missed out on junior prom and an in-person 8th grade graduation. The little milestones and memory-makers that they’ll one day look back on as adults have been replaced by a year of quarantine, Zoom classes, and missing their friends. Many of my students have also expressed sadness and frustrating having missed some of the hallmarks of “the high school experience”. Likewise, teachers missed milestones and cultivating relationships with their students. There’s still a lot of ground to make up on both sides.

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This item was submitted on March 16, 2022 by Jessica Parvan Pike using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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