Shop the fall collection ➔

Today I received an email from the online director for our school district. The email talked about the challenges they have faced in the first week of online school and the ways they are trying to remedy the problems. 

In the email, it was mentioned that they have received a number of emails from parents describing a variety of issues they are experiencing. 

As I read this email detailing the things they will be working on, and the ways they are addressing these issues, my heart was overwhelmed with compassion for anyone working in education right now. 

Can you imagine how hard this must be for them? 

Yes, as parents it’s frustrating when the online programs aren’t working, or when our children can’t reach their teacher, or when we receive a message that Zoom is for internal use only—but can you imagine the stress they must be facing on the other side of this? 

RELATED: To My Kids’ Teachers As the School Year Begins

Prior to the pandemic, our school district did not have online learning set up for the children attending schools in a traditional sense. Over the past few months, they have had to develop systems and strategies for teaching every child, both online and in the buildings, in the safest way possible. 

The teachers are learning new programs, and many of them are teaching some classes both in-person and remotely. 

The IT people, administrators, teachers, teachers aids, substitutes—all of them. They all are working incredibly hard for our children and families. 

So here is my plea: let’s cut them some slack. 

Today, after reading the email, I wrote a response of gratitude. I thanked the director for her hard work and acknowledged how hard it must be. I am not saying that to pat myself on the back, but because I feel like this is so important right now. 

We have to support our educators during this challenging time as best as we are able. 

RELATED: Dear Kids, We’ll Make the Best of This School Year Together

It feels like this is one great experiment. We are sending our kids, and the teachers, into these buildings and we aren’t really sure what the outcome will be. Some of these teachers may literally be putting their lives on the line when they step into those buildings with our children. And we all know teachers don’t make much. I was a preschool teacher in a great building that paid well as far as teachers go, but trust me—it still wasn’t much. 

I get it. It’s frustrating. We are tired. We want normalcy. We wish this school year looked like all of the other years before, but the reality is, it doesn’t. And it may not for a while. 

Just like this is the first time our children have started a school year during a pandemic, this is the first time these teachers have taught kids during a pandemic. 

Does this mean we stop advocating for our children? Absolutely not. Does this mean we don’t send an email when our Chromebooks aren’t working? Or when we’ve been kicked off of Zoom again? Nope. We need to communicate our issues and concerns so that the system can continue to work to improve and meet the needs of their students and staff. Our voices are important. 

RELATED: 5 Days of Prayer For Our Nation’s Schools

And so is our tone. So is the way we approach the issues and problems. We have a wonderful opportunity to teach our children how to respond to challenging times and how to troubleshoot when problems arise on a daily basis. Let’s use this opportunity to teach them how to rise above. Let’s not badmouth the teachers or the administration. Let’s not become catty on social media platforms. Let’s be kind. Let’s be supportive of one another. 

What if for every email, or message of concern we sent, we sent two or more messages of gratitude to those who are working so hard right now for our children? 

I seriously can’t imagine what it must be like to walk in the educators’ shoes right now. I can’t imagine how many messages they receive about things not working properly.

What if for every message they had of concern, they had more messages lifting them up? 

As parents, we want what is best for our children. We want them to thrive and to learn in an enriching environment. I believe part of creating that environment is helping to build it up. We don’t want our educators and staff burnt out, stressed out, and worn down. They are carrying a lot of weight on their shoulders. 

Parents, let’s help to lift that weight. Let’s not make a hard situation harder. 

This is our moment to shine. And our children are watching. 

Originally published on the author’s blog

Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson is a freelance writer, preschool art teacher and mother of four with a heart for Jesus. Her work can be found on a number of blogs and parenting publications. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, Tennessee. She is a passionate storyteller and believes every person has an important story to tell. We grow when we share. And even more when we listen.  

My Daughter is Almost the Age I Was When My Grandfather First Molested Me

In: Living, Motherhood
Back of little girl's head with braid and ribbon

Trigger Warning: Child Abuse My daughter is swinging, head tilted up to the sky, pondering the shape of the cloud—is it a puppy or a tiger? Or maybe a dragon? She picks a flowering weed from the yard and brings it to me, so proud of her gift for Mama. She sits down and draws one of her imaginary kitty superheroes and the tale of how it saves the day—her lips pursed, then open, then pursed again—concentrating as though it’s the most important story she’ll write in her life. I pull her close, breathe in all of her joy and...

Keep Reading

When Storms Come: How To Help During Hurricane Ian

In: Living
When Waters Rise, You’ll Struggle to Put One Foot in Front of the Other. You’ll Do it Anyway. www.herviewfromhome.com

When waters rise and spirits fall, you’ll listen anxiously to weather reports from your neighborhood. You’ll watch angry waves swirling on the sacred ground of familiar streets. You’ll feel a sickening, sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. You’ll try to grasp fleeting thoughts of hope that maybe, just maybe, they’re all wrong. Surely it won’t be as bad, as devastating as they say. You’ll try to overpower Mother Nature by sheer force of will. But she is a determined and destructive houseguest. You’ll understand futility.  You’ll go through motions, completing necessary tasks in response to catastrophe. You’ll cry,...

Keep Reading

Things I Wish My Therapist Would Say

In: Living
Little girl looking out window

Things I wish my therapist would say . . .  Welcome. Sit down, have a tea or a big coffee. The latest studies say caffeine does wonders for your anxiety. Now, tell me everything . . .  You’re not crazy. But if you are it’s okay, all the best women in history were crazy. You don’t need medication. But if you do, it’s okay—I can get you some right now. You don’t have to call a thousand pharmacies or drive or wait, here it is. It will work right away and has zero side effects. You don’t have to change...

Keep Reading

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s…Jupiter?

In: Living
Boy looking through telescope

It’s a great week to gather the kids and train your eyes on the night sky—the planet Jupiter is bigger and better than ever! Well, at least it’ll look that way this week.   Jupiter reaches what’s termed “opposition” during the final week of September this year, and that makes for some fun stargazing conditions. Quick science lesson time: “opposition” is when a planet is directly opposite the Sun in the sky. And all those orbits out there in space have the Earth sandwiched between Jupiter and the Sun right now too, meaning our Solar System’s gasseous giant is closer to...

Keep Reading

I’ll Find Her Again One Day

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother holding baby at night

It happened again. Took 15 months this time. But I found myself in the same spot I said I’d never be in. Lost, drowning, on the brink of a mental breakdown—however you want to put it. I was gone in motherhood. With the diapers piling up around me, I was getting mad at my husband for nothing, screaming at my oldest son, crying along with the babies, and in a fog. RELATED: To the Woman Who’s Lost Herself in Motherhood I couldn’t do anything—literally—I couldn’t even pee without hearing a demand. When my children were quiet, my house billowed with...

Keep Reading

I Want Friends Who Grow Old with Me

In: Friendship, Living
Friends laughing

When I grow older, I want my friends to come with me. I want us to sit on porches sipping tea and watching the young walk by. I want us to scoot around on our scooters or on golf carts because none of us want to walk back home from the beach. I want us to sit in restaurants and order whatever we want because life has become too short and we know it, so cheesecake it is. RELATE: Life is Too Short for Fake Cheese and Fake Friends I want morning strolls together to get the willies out, and...

Keep Reading

To the Mom In the Trenches: Make Room For Yourself

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter on beach black and white photo

“I need to make room for myself,” I think quietly as I shove toys aside with my foot and toss the dog-hair-covered blankets onto the couch behind me. This endless carousel of shuffling clutter weighs on me, but I try not to dwell on that fact right now. Clearing a space for a quick strength class between Zoom calls requires almost as much effort as the class itself. Plastic play food and melodic baby toys lay strewn about the room (the whole house, really). Scattered LEGOs and Hot Wheels wait to attack unsuspecting bare feet at any moment. To say...

Keep Reading

“Old” Seems Less Old the Older I Get

In: Living
Mother and teen daughter smiling

Growing up, my grandparents hosted birthday parties that involved all of my dad’s aunts and uncles gathering around the kitchen table with a deck of pinochle cards dealt among them. After a few games, a “lunch” of sandwiches, cake, and hot cups of coffee would be served.  I remember looking at the people gathered around that table—wrinkled fingers raking in cards, deep, scratchy voices calling out bids and naming trump, laughter mingled with German words I didn’t understand. The kids were never invited to the table, only allowed to watch from the outskirts.  We were too young. And they were...

Keep Reading

I Love Being a Mom, But I Miss That Party Girl Sometimes

In: Living, Motherhood
Girl at bar in black tank top

It’s 7 p.m. on a Saturday night. Freshly showered and ready to take on whatever the night brings. I’ve just gotten dressed and am finishing up my makeup when the phone rings. “Hey, I’m about to leave in half an hour. Do you want to meet around 8 p.m.?” “Sure! I’m almost ready. I’ll be there at 8!” I say excitedly. I finish my makeup and start working on my hair when a text comes through. “Hey, Ash! Just wanted to let you know we’ll be there around 9 but we’re definitely going to make it! I can’t wait to...

Keep Reading

Christmas + ’90s TV Nostalgia? Yes, Please!

In: Living
Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, Andrea Barber Full House friends at wedding

Why is it that the older I get, the more nostalgic I become about the ’90s?  Maybe it’s because it was a simpler time: No social media. The only cell phones we’d ever seen belonged to Zack Morris from Saved By the Bell and Macaulay Caulkin in Richie Rich. The height of cool was owning a hair crimper and that clear corded phone (bonus points if it was connected to a dedicated teen line). And you knew it was going to be a great day when you started the tape recorder in time to get all of MmmBop! on your...

Keep Reading