In a recent email, I asked educators about the biggest challenge they’re facing right now.
The responses I received regarding the biggest challenges of returning to school were mind blowing, yet all so very real and true.
Most of teachers definitely feel that many crucial questions have gone unanswered. I’ve also found that administrators, too, feel they are lacking many of the answers they need to re-open and feel confident about their ability to protect their staff and students. It’s a heavy burden to shoulder (and that’s why The Happy Academy is so crucial), and I’m thankful for the candid reactions.
We are all concerned about how schools will stay clean, how they will disinfect, keep students physically-distanced, and prevent further spread of the virus. And we are all concerned about our own sanity (here are some self-care tips) as we go through this process. Most educators responded, in some way, that their own lives and those of their family members are at stake.
The responses centered around the following themes:
- Uncertainty and unknowns
- The demands of both virtual and in-person teaching
- Limited resources for students
- Overwhelming stress and anxiety
- Inability to build relationships virtually
- Not feeling connecting to your students
- Lack of accountability for your students
One teacher said:
“I think the biggest challenge is providing the knowledge that our teachers need to have in order to efficiently run virtual instruction consistently throughout our district.”
Another told me about their most intimidating hurdle:
“Meeting students’ needs who do not have internet, resources, or parents that can assist them when they are unsure or need assistance. Communication can be interrupted when students or parents do not communicate openly with teachers. Seeing a student in person allows me to assess many things… their facial expressions when asked questions, them giving verbal feedback and being given positive encouragement after making attempts to explore various methods to solve problems.”
The struggle is real…
Overwhelming feelings of uncertainty and fear are wreaking havoc on an already stressful and exhaustive profession, and I see it wearing on all of the educators I work with..
In a poll by USA Today, nearly all teachers (83%) report that they are having a harder time doing their job now more than ever before.
Another two-thirds of teachers have had to work more than they normally do, and say they haven’t been able to do their job properly since starting to teach remotely. Most feel as though their districts have not properly prepared them for remote instruction.
And yet we have so many more challenges ahead of us as we lead through these times of change.
I’d like to thank all educators – teachers, administrators, support staff – again for taking the time to respond to my query (you can still respond here in The Happiness Quiz).
I believe that it’s important for educators and administrators to understand what their peers are thinking and feeling right now, so that we can support each other adequately.
What do you think about my survey results? Do you agree with what educators are saying? What challenges are you facing? What strategies are helping you do your work remotely? Are you working in person? If so, how is that going?
Please leave your comments below. Your voice matters. The work you do matters!