Check On Your Teacher Friends, We Aren’t Okay

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Check On Your Teacher Friends, We Aren't Okay“Our classrooms are overcrowded and our schools are understaffed. I go home everyday and cry. I love my job as an educator, but I have never felt so defeated and exhausted.” – Local Elementary School Teacher

“This is my 15th year teaching and this has by far been the most draining and difficult year. The word of education today is being overshadowed by politics. For the first time ever, I feel that I could walk away from teaching and never look back.” – Local Elementary School Teacher

“Daily I am trying to keep up with lesson plans, makeup work, posting to canvas for my “non-mask” wearing students”, parent requests, principal requests, and government requests. I go home emotionally drained that I barely have enough energy for my own children and husband. I don’t know how much longer I can take it.” – Local Middle School Teacher

“I am so scared to plan anything fun in my classroom due to public ridicule for not keeping my (most vaccinated students) socially distant. No matter what decision I make or how I conduct my classroom, someone is there to tell me I am doing it wrong. I want my students to have fun and enjoy themselves in my classroom, but I am terrified I will get in trouble.” – Local High School Teacher

These are a few sentiments I have gathered from educators who are currently teaching.

Across the board, from elementary schools to high schools, teachers are going home crying every night and some are walking away from their classrooms to never look back. I thought this year would be better, but oh boy, am I wrong. There is not one specific cause for the chaos this year, but I can for certain say teachers aren’t okay.

In what profession do you have to monitor the bathrooms so items aren’t stolen or broken? Are you unable to turn your back on a student because this month’s TikTok trend is “smack a teacher” and you just might find yourself going viral for being slapped? Worry about how long a student has been in the bathroom due to it being a new “hook up” spot? Oh and also work from home in the evenings because you have spent your plan period in the “Isolation Room” monitoring the non-mask wearing students? I can confidently say no other job requires that magnitude of duties.

Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely love my job.

I still get excited for future lessons and activities. This year though, every day I feel as if I am walking into a reality TV show. What new bit of chaos can happen today? All we want to do is teach. Leave the politics and policies behind and watch the little light bulb go off and your child’s face start to glow as they grasp a new concept or finally understand what we have been working towards.

“The cookies are nice and the luncheons are thoughtful, but pay compensated to amount of hours worked would be better.” – Local Middle School Teacher

“Toxic positivity has been one of the worst parts about our jobs. When we focus on the positive and reject, deny, or displace the negative only destructs us more.” – Local Elementary School Teacher

“We have so many students failing classes. Students don’t care and parents don’t care. I don’t know what I am supposed to do when a parent tells me, “It must be your teaching style.” Where did student accountability go?” – Local High School Teacher

I don’t have a one-size-fits all answer. Every teacher has different wants and needs. I only write this to shed light on what teaching is like this year through the eyes of an educator. Ask any teacher you know — this has been the hardest year yet. Check on your teacher friends, we aren’t okay.

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Hi, my name is Kailey. I am a Registered Nurse turned high school Health Science Teacher. I am a proud wife and mom of 1. My sweet Brady (any football fans?) was born in August 2018. I am a Knoxville native and absolutely love the area. Where else can you drive to a beach, major city, or mountains in less than 6 hours? I married my husband in May 2017, we have known each other since he was 16. I love all things true crime, Disney, crafts, and Mexican food . If we aren't at work you will find us traveling or planning our next trip. We have a passion for traveling and our goal is to visit all 50 states. I do also work as a travel agent. I absolutely love planning vacations for families. I have been a travel agent since 2016. At the end of the day all we have left are memories, I make sure each and every family creates lasting memories. I'm most certainly not an expert on being a mom, but I hope to add some experiences and outlooks being a "millennial mom".

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