Clark County School District teachers are just as tired as everyone else of COVID. We don’t want to wear masks. We want to go to Target for no apparent reason. We want to see and hug our loved ones. We struggle to make the “right” choices for ourselves and our families all the time. We, too, are fatigued.
But what is absolutely soul-crushing to many of us is hearing over and over how “distance education is a failure,” and “this generation isn’t learning anything,” and “we have to get these kids back in school so the year is not a waste.”
Really? Then what has been the point in the 12- to 14-hour days that I and my colleagues have been spending since August trying to make distance learning work? Why did I bother getting up at 4:30 a.m. to get in a few more hours of grading because transferring work to online is taking up most of my evenings? Why did I dress up in a toga to try to encourage just a few more students to turn on their cameras? Why do I send personal notes of thanks for participating in online discussion to students’ homes?
We know that kids do better in person. So do we. That was the whole point of becoming educators. But teachers have done what they always do: work together, figure it out, make the best of it and put a smile on our faces for our students to hide the exhaustion, hopelessness and fear.
But this community needs to know that the comments and language that come from politicians, pundits and parents are destroying the very heart of us. And I, for one, have never been as demoralized as I am right now. We may go back into the classrooms soon, but I don’t think many teachers will forget the way we’ve been treated or talked about this year. Just another of COVID’s long-lasting effects.