August days spent watching her prepare her room for new kids are always some of my favorite days of the year.
She whips around her room organizing and decorating, completely in her element.
This year feels different. She is moving slower and sighing often. Instead of her finding new ways to decorate and bring joy to her classroom, we are removing the cozy couches and collaborative tables, and measuring socially distanced sit-spots instead.
For the first time, it feels like joy is being removed, and that is bringing pain to this kindergarten teacher’s soul.
The stress of imagining a new way of teaching while carrying the weight of the responsibility for her kids’ safety is visible on her face.
I know my wife and all teachers will find new ways to bring joy to their classrooms and their students, but don’t underestimate the emotional lift that will require.
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As governors proclaim, and school boards vote, teachers will ultimately be the ones carrying the weight.
We talk about teachers as superheroes, but they are humans too. Humans that will rise to this occasion, but deserve a lot better.
This post originally appeared on the author’s Facebook page.