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

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

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.  

Marie Kondo Has “Given Up” on Tidying Up. Oh Marie, We’ve Been Waiting for You!

In: Living
Marie Kondo in red dress smiling

Dear, sweet, adorable, impossibly neat, put-together Marie Kondo, Pull up a stool to my kitchen counter, won’t you, love? I’ve just shoved aside a pile of odds and ends (including a teal hairbrush, a candy cane-shaped tube of half-eaten M&Ms, a notebook, pen—sans cap, always sans cap—, last week’s third-grade classroom teacher letter, and a toy motorcycle I still need to superglue) to make space for you. Don’t mind the little bits of nail polish on the laminate I can’t magic erase off from an appointment at the girls’ nail salon last spring (at least it’s coral, and coral never...

Keep Reading

We’ll Get Through Daddy’s Deployment Together

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother, father, daughter selfie, color photo

“I didn’t think we did that anymore.” I wish I could attribute that to one person, but I’ve heard it from multiple people when I’ve mentioned that my pilot-soldier National Guard husband is deploying overseas. Yes, we still do that. Men and women still suit up every day to carry out various missions, both valuable and confusing, around the country and the world. And for the whole of 2023 that includes my husband. My partner, my co-adventurer. The one who will use our flight and hotel benefits from his day job to visit Hawaii for three days on a pre-deployment...

Keep Reading

I Was Never Good Enough for My Mother, So I’m Done Trying

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman walking away

I’m on a path in life that is so different from what I ever imagined growing up. It’s a path I’m not even sure I consciously choose. And it’s a path that exhausts me. I grew up with a narcissistic mother, and I was the scapegoat. No matter how I tried, I could never gain my mother’s love. It was love that was tainted with conditions and taken away at any time—and that was often. And thus, I tried harder. Best grades, best behavior, cleanest room. It never worked. I was too fat. My thighs were huge—make sure they were...

Keep Reading

I Am an Immigrant Mom

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and toddler in sunshine

I have many moments of What did I get myself into? during the day, especially when one of my kids is screaming at the top of his lungs and the other is having a make-believe experiment in the kitchen. We’ve heard countless times that raising kids is hard, but raising kids as a first-generation immigrant is harder. Obviously, there is no competition for who has more struggles or whose life is harder because child rearing is hard. Period. But this piece is specifically aimed at shedding some light on the unsung heroes, our so-called, first-gen immigrants raising kids in a...

Keep Reading

The Emotional Cost of Teaching Can Be Too Much

In: Living
Empty classroom desks and white board

“Do you ever regret leaving education?” I send this text to multiple former colleagues.  I feel a pain in my heart and tears swelling in my eyes. To be honest, I’ve thought about writing this multiple times but have always pulled back due to second-guessing myself. My goal as you read this is to not ask for sympathy but rather to be honest with you—and actually myself—in hopes that this time, I realize it is my time to go. RELATED: Want to Know Why Teachers Are Leaving Education? It’s Because We’re Exhausted Thirteen years ago, I proudly walked across the...

Keep Reading

I Went No-Contact With My Toxic Mom: Here’s What It’s Like

In: Living
Toddler girl looking out over mountains, color photo

Two and a half years ago, with tears in my eyes, an ache in my heart, and an eight-month pregnant belly, I walked off my mother’s porch for good, and I never looked back.  The month after I left was probably one of the most chaotic times of my life. My husband quit his job, I packed my house up into a 14-foot cargo trailer, moved into a new home that I bought online, then drove 2,100 miles to it with my husband and our 18-month-old daughter. I immediately hired a brand new OB-GYN and had my C-section birth alone...

Keep Reading

This Is Not a Drill: Ted Lasso Season 3 Is Almost Here!

In: Living
Ted Lasso Coach Nate Apple TV+ still shot

Confession: Ted Lasso didn’t interest me at all.  Soccer is not my thing. I live in the kind of Midwestern state where soccer is code for “I’m either freezing on the sidelines watching my kid play in 40mph winds and snow, or sweating so much I’m sticking to a camping chair in 100-degree heat, there is no in-between.” It’s just a fact of life for us.  So when the Apple TV+ series first crossed my radar, I skipped it. Who cares about soccer (nee, fútbol for our European pals)? Then my husband and I needed a new series to watch...

Keep Reading

There Are a Lot of Families Simply Trying to Get By

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman buying eggs

Times are tough right now. If you’ve been to a grocery store lately, or a gas station, or anywhere really, I’m sure your wallet is feeling it. I know mine is. My family falls somewhere between low and middle income—like so many families around the world.  We’re just on that line where we don’t qualify for assistance, yet we also don’t quite make enough to comfortably pay bills and have much leftover for anything else. And, boy, are we feeling it lately with prices the way they are. We stretch our food and our budget as far as possible, but...

Keep Reading

Hey Girl! Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Welcome Rainbow Baby, Esti Maxine

In: News
Luna and Miles holding their new baby sister

UPDATE: Hey girl, hey! We finally have the details on the new addition: Welcome to the world, Miss Esti Maxine Stephens! This rainbow baby is already clearly adored, which was apparent in the debut photo Teigen shared of her being cradled by her older siblings. According to her Instagram caption, Daddy John Legend “sheds nightly tears of joy seeing Luna and Miles so full of love.” Teigen also apparently gave birth for the first time via C-section, which she shared with the realization she still has to wear diapers. She says “the house is bustling and our family could not...

Keep Reading

Jamie Lee Curtis Goes Viral as “Unabashed Hype Woman,” and We Are Here for It

In: News
photo of Jamie Lee Curtis celebrating Michelle Yeoh

“Ladies, this is your vibe for 2023. Hype. Other. Women.” A rally cry for women all over the world started at the Golden Globes on Tuesday, when Erin Gallagher captured the moment that actress Michelle Yeoh won best actress for her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once.  Instead of focusing on Yeoh, who covered her face in her hands, the entrepreneur zoned in on the reaction of co-star Jamie Lee Curtis, who threw her hands in the air and let out what appeared to be an excited scream for her co-star. “Look at Jamie Lee Curtis,” Gallagher wrote in...

Keep Reading