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  • Writer's pictureBeth Pandolpho

What it's really like to teach during the pandemic

I have been working in-person since September 2020, so I can tell you first-hand that without students, school is a very lonely place.

As an instructional coach for grades 6-12, I never like to speak for teachers. Yet, I feel like I can confidently say that we are thrilled that almost all of our students are back in-person for the 2021-22 school year. At the same time, just as our students are suffering from traumas related to the pandemic, it seems that everyone has forgotten that this reality is equally true for teachers.

While teachers scramble to meet students’ needs, no additional supports have been extended to teachers. There are no extra sick days for vaccine side effects or for when they need to stay home with their young children who are in quarantine. There’s been no relief from meetings, evaluations, new initiatives or standardized tests. The shortage of substitutes has placed additional pressure on teachers to cover duties on top of their regular teaching assignments. I could say more, but I've said so much already

I poured out my frustrations in this opinion piece in Education Week, and then was fortunate enough to have a conversation with Dr. Michaela Keegan Jedele on her podcast DissectEd.

What our teachers need most is grace. . .yet they are being expected to conduct business as usual when nothing is as usual.

The collective exhaustion of my fellow teachers has robbed me of the breath to say more. And it feels like no one is listening anyway.

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