Please don’t forget the teachers.

I’m getting ready to drop bags off for my teachers who are dedicating a week in July to learning to do all the things better for our kids. Because even in the middle of a pandemic teachers have their eyes on the prize. They want what is best for their students. Full stop.

You know teachers have my heart.

As I hear all the talk about school starting next year I hear so much about our precious children and I believe with my whole heart they need to come first.

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I hear all the fear from parents about how to decide what to do and how to manage it all and oh my word friends you know I am right there with all of you in that.

But please don’t forget about the teachers.

They don’t get to choose the students in their rooms, they don’t get a say in the decisions their students’ families make. They don’t even get to decide the safety protocols that will be in place to protect them.

But they are impacted greatly by all of these in a time such as this.

Just like the rest of the world some teachers are ready to go back in any way shape and form.

And others are scared out of their minds.

And they are feeling all the things in between.

Please be gentle with them. Give them grace.

Please know they love their students and their families.

But they have families, too.

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They have been social distancing and masking up and washing their hands and worrying through this whole thing just like you have.

When they have avoided the grocery store for months it’s really, really daunting to think about spending an 8-hour day in a room with 30 kids, no windows, and no masks in sight. Or half that many while trying to teach behind plexiglass and keep kids masked up. Or moving between home and school. Or teaching online. All the options hurt the teachers’ hearts in different ways.

So when you talk about next year please remember the teacher facing this new reality.

Their job is different than so many and will carry risks only a few other professions in the country have to deal with. And just like you, they didn’t sign up for this.

Teachers have spent years getting the flus and colds and stomach bugs and yes even lice sent their way via their sweet students. They know the realities here.

But this is different.

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They want your kids to be safe. They want their own kids to be safe. And they want to be safe.

They will do what it takes to give your kids the best education possible in whatever situation they find themselves in. They will work tirelessly to do so. But they need the rest of the world to do its part to help them.

So consider wearing that mask when you go out in public.

Consider forgoing that trip to the restaurant or bar where you will be indoors without social distancing.

Consider skipping that big party you want so badly to have.

Consider this all might be real and has nothing to do with politics and picture your favorite teacher ever when you say, “Teachers just need to . . .”

Consider making some sacrifices personally for the good of the group.

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Of course, no one can make you. If you are not under a mandate and have no rules you have a choice here. You have all the right in the world to do what you want . . . but with great rights come great responsibilities and sometimes great consequences. So perhaps we can just err on the side of caution on this one?

Don’t forget the teachers (or the paraprofessionals or office staff or lunch servers or administrators or anyone working to keep our schools going).

If we work together maybe just maybe we at least can all feel a little safer, be a little safer and rest a little easier.

Because darn it all teachers just want it all to go back to normal, too.

Originally published on Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt

Amy Betters-Midtvedt

Amy Betters-Midtvedt is a writer, educator, mom of 5 crazy kids, wife to a patient husband, and lover of Jesus. She writes along with her friend and former teaching partner Erin over at Hiding in the Closet With Coffee. Our mission is to help parents find sanity and joy, and we know sometimes joy is found hiding out in the closet with coffee, or hiding out on Facebook — come and join us both! You can read more about us here. You can also find us hiding out over at InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.