“Teachers across the country are feeling overwhelmed by the unique needs and demands of principals, families, and students brought on by the distance learning necessitated by the coronavirus, according to a report in Education Week.
Teachers featured in the article describe having to balance the demands of unfamiliar technology, overwhelming digital communications like emails and text messages from parents and students, the loss of face-to-face bonding time, and balancing the needs of students with the requirements of their own children and families.
“By the fourth day, I started to have a panic attack. I hadn’t slept. I was feeling like the walls were coming in on me,” lamented Amy Pollington, a kindergarten teacher at Saint George School in Seattle.
According to the report “teachers described staying up until 2 or 3 a.m., answering emails, trouble-shooting technology or planning lessons. They can’t seem to shut it off. Papers are strewn across their living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms.”
Teachers have also lost the ability to closely read their students’ emotions in person, and are navigating the best ways to inquire after students missing online classes. According to Theresa Bruce, who teaches eighth grade social studies in Baltimore, MD, there is a consideration of the challenges all families are currently facing, and she wonders “Should I reach out? Is that too much?”
Her advice to teachers? “Like anything, the first year is tough, but over time, you learn and adapt. You’re gonna regroup. You’re gonna recover.”
Read more about the challenges facing teachers and ideas for addressing them during the coronavirus pandemic here.