I don’t participate in a lot of groups on Facebook.
I think I may still be a member of a couple of Facebook parenting groups, but those are holdovers from when the Bug was younger.
So I’ve missed a lot of the crazy s**t that’s apparently been going down on some of these groups.
Earlier in the summer, when our county was offering the choice between hybrid and 100% distance learning options, some parents were unhappy.
There were angry outbursts from all quarters. Those who thought all kids should go back to school.
Those who thought sending children back to school was tantamount to reckless endangerment.
But the ugliest comments that surfaced were directed at teachers themselves.
In the midst of a pandemic, a lot of teachers were (understandably) concerned for their personal safety, and the safety of their students, and by extension their families.
Some teachers wanted to get back into the classroom, while others with preexisting conditions or family members with underlying health issues wanted to stay home.
Cue the outrage.
A Sense of Entitlement
Apparently, some of these parents felt entitled to have their children in school because they pay their taxes.
Others attacked teachers, calling them lazy and saying their unions were too strong and that they were just out to protect themselves.
(Well, yeah, because no one else is, apparently.)
The vitriol these people spewed was ugly and hurtful, and a lot of it just plain wrong.
How Do Teachers Feel?
I can’t speak to my son’s teacher, but I know how my neighbor feels.
One of our neighbors is a teaching assistant for special needs children in the public schools. The challenges she and her colleagues face are enormous.
Yesterday, she expressed to me just how hurtful and saddening many of the comments she saw hurled at her and her colleagues were.
She told me that all these teachers who are now teaching remotely are doing so with limited support and resources.
Also, due to budget cuts, they are not getting any pay raise, not even the normal adjustment for inflation and cost of living.
So the people who are responsible for our children’s education are working under circumstances that many of us would deem unacceptable and intolerable.
Give the Teachers In Your Life Some Love
So let’s counteract the hate! Let’s push back against the vitriol!
But instead of engaging in a shouting match over social media with the entitled, angry parents, let’s give things a positive spin.
Write to your kid’s teachers and tell them what you think they’re doing well. Give them a pat on the back, and thank them.
Our son’s teacher is not only teaching kindergarteners online (a huge challenge already), but she also has her own elementary school-aged kids at home!
In my books, this woman is as saintly as they come.
Encourage A Teacher Day!
Since it can’t be “Hug a Teacher” day, let’s have it be “Encourage a Teacher” day.
And not just teachers! School counsellors! Administrators! Your school’s IT person could probably use a virtual pat on the back right now.
Let’s give them some extra love and appreciation! Because as hard as it is for us parents, it’s gotta be just as hard for the teachers (and harder for teachers who also happen to be parents).
God bless them, every one.