Hi. I’m a hybrid teacher, and I’m on the verge of quitting.

I have been teaching for 15 years. I’ve learned to expect little annoyances as a teacher: no significant raises, and the little raises we receive going directly to the insurance increase; spending my own money every year for things a district should provide such as paper towels and soap in a science lab; having to explain that teachers do not in fact get 2 months of paid vacation; and the fact that some people just assume teachers are incompetent. I mean, those that can-do, and those that can’t-teach, right?

Those things bothered me less and less the more and more I fell in love with my craft. Don’t let anyone tell you that teaching is not a craft. How else could you explain one little woman who is 5’3 holding a class of 32 teenagers in thrall with an explanation about the experiments of Stanley Milgram and relate it to how ethics are important? For any teacher worthy of their craft, it is the students that mean the most. We love talking to them, laughing with them, seeing their ah-ha moments, being there when they need to get something off their chest, advising them for future career choices, and watching them go on to be productive members of society.

COVID and quarantine stopped that special time for us in March 2020.

March 16, 2020, I wish I would have known that it was going to be the last day I saw students in my class. I was playing the radio and ‘Lean on Me’ came on. The kids were doing an assignment, but all started signing while they worked. I remember thinking to myself how much I loved them, and how precious that moment was to me. The next few days were a whirlwind, making the switch to online. It wasn’t until I caught my breath a full 3 weeks into quarantine that everything hit me. I sat outside on my front porch one day and cried for several hours. The neighbors probably thought I was nuts. All the things I had planned were over and never to be, and worst of all, I didn’t get to tell them goodbye in person.

Every day starts with checking online attendance from the day before

Then something totally unexpected happened: Teachers everywhere were being hailed as heroes. Many people were reaching out, wanting to ‘adopt’ teachers for appreciation week, sharing how important teachers were to children, and how no one could do as good a job of instructing children as their current teacher. It probably shouldn’t have been, but it was amazing to me how quickly society went from ‘teachers are heroes’ in March to ‘get back to work you lazy so and so or I want my property taxes back’ in July. I think it was the emotional equivalent of whiplash.

We started back hybrid the second week of August during a spike in COVID cases in Texas. We started with no plan in place, no consistent air conditioning or phones which were in the midst of an overhaul, a new grade book program that hadn’t been debugged, and 3 days to plan. Hybrid teaching involves teaching as usual with the added bonus of also teaching online and adjusting each and every thing you do in class to satisfy the requirements of students who are working remotely. As a high school science teacher, that means that I have to make demo videos of every lab, construct and post audio recordings of what we are doing in class, and still meet everyone’s needs including special education and 504 students. This is on top of lesson planning, grading, meetings, and trying to live my own life. I worked about 72 hours the first week. On that Friday, I broke down and cried at my desk after school because I couldn’t get the new grade book program to scroll. Like snot bubble, runny mascara, barely able to catch your breath crying.

And I kept thinking to myself, ‘This is not sustainable’.

2 preps, 2 subjects, 125 students to serve

Before you ask, let me tell you; I am not a slacker. No one I work with is a slacker. This is hard; it’s the hardest thing I have ever done in my life related to a job. It’s the equivalent of working 2 full time jobs at the same time with no extra time in a day, no assistance, no compensation, and little support. I used to plan 3-4 weeks in advance. Now, I’m doing well if I’m a day ahead, and to get that way, I have to work roughly 12 hours a day.

I get to school at 6:30 am and rarely make it to #9 by 8:45 am

I asked my coworker the other day how she was as she sat with swollen eyes from crying the day before. ‘I used to love this job,’ she said. ‘Now, if it weren’t for that fact that I love my students, I would have walked out yesterday’. Our lunches consist of everyone in the department sighing, asking if anyone has heard any information about changes that occur daily, usually not to make our lives easier or offer a reprieve. We discuss how our online students, for the most part, aren’t doing any work despite our greatest attempts. It feels like we are just treading water. Every. Single. Day.

I walked in this past Friday after grading work for 5 hours the night before instead of spending time with my family. I saw that my room was 78 degrees because the AC was broken again and I sat down and cried. That’s the point that many teachers are at: the last nerve, the last straw, being broken by the smallest problem. At some point, it’s going to be a decision of what’s best for our mental health. Our Superintendent said we should all stop working at 5 pm. If that happened, nothing would get done and who would suffer? The students. That goes against the whole core reason for teaching.

How much longer can I go, working 60-70 hours a week? The jury is still out. Trust me; we want to be back at school with ALL our students. Teaching is not the same when you can’t make the connections that being together for a class period 5 days a week can bring about. Remember to show kindness the next time you meet a teacher. We are as broken right now as the educational system that asks us to be super human. We are here for your kids; please be here for us.

152 thoughts on “Hi. I’m a hybrid teacher, and I’m on the verge of quitting.

  1. Suzanne Milstead says:

    A big question/problem is why would anyone become a teacher? Low pay to the point that you can’t afford a place to live or buy a car. Low morale, every day. Trying to teach from gifted to 504, to special ed and meet their individual needs which is next to impossible. Not enough materials and many I buy myself. Added to that teaching to virtual classes to the regular, but what is regular now? I’m glad I got out while I could.

      • Jen says:

        This is exactly how the nursing profession feels! Hang in there and keep your head up brighter days are ahead! I promise!

      • Robert says:

        Part of the problem is that there is this myth that teaching is more then a job. Because its more then a job society can pay you less, respect you less and demand too much of you. I think teachers need to stop buying into that narrative. They should strike more, refuse to work in current conditions and leave the industry and parents to fend for themselves until conditions change. Teaching is a job.

    • Nicole says:

      Thanks for staying positive, you know we do this because we love kids and we care. Lots of people are getting screwed over right now, not justifying what anyone is doing to make it worse, but bright side is we have a job and if you look hard enough, you see the reason for being an educator in the eyes of every student!

    • Mary Harper says:

      I have to admit, I’m a “lifer”, but I also can’t honestly look in the eyes of a young person who asks me about becoming a teacher, and tell them to go for it.

      • andan04 says:

        Ditto from a 25-year veteran here. Even before this hit, I had the privilege of teaching with a former stellar student who’d returned to her high school alma mater to teach. She was the best first-year teacher I’d ever seen. Honestly, before that year was out, she was already one of the best teachers in the building. She knew her curriculum, found engaging and energetic ways to teach it, and related so well to kids. She held her students to high standards but equipped them to meet those standards. In short, she was everything you’d want in a teacher for your own children.

        In her second year, though, she started expressing doubts about this profession. She loved it during class time, within those four walls with her students, but was becoming disillusioned with the lack of support from both our state legislature and its electorate. What’s more, she and her husband wanted to have a family one day and she was beginning to realize that she could not be the mother she had a right to expect to be if she was a teacher, working the hours she was.

        By her third year, she was openly talking about leaving the profession. As much as I wanted her to stay, I could not in good conscience try to convince her to. I cared about her too much and the truth is, I agreed that leaving was probably in her best interests. (I didn’t tell her that, though. I just listened and watched her process a decision that had to be hers.)

        By the end of that third year, she quit. It broke my heart, not only to lose her among our faculty and to watch her abandon a profession she loved and was so gifted at, but also to know how well I understood her decision.

      • Kristy says:

        Yes! 100%! I stopped volunteering to have student teachers because, although I’m committed, I can’t, with good conscience, recommend ANYONE become a teacher now or anytime in the near future. Teacher shortage is going to be an issue for the unforeseeable future. Spec Ed teachers already are a scarce resource (that’s me)! And sadly, GOOD, dedicated, caring, compassionate teachers will leave in droves. One’s mental health is more important & everyone has a breaking point! 😞😢

      • Kathy says:

        Thank you for saying that because that is what my high school senior has told is what he would like to go to college for. High school teacher.. either social studies or computers. We support him if that is what will make him happy.

    • Cheryl says:

      Because teaching is a passion….if that is not understood, then you shouldn’t be a teacher! God Bless those who have that passion!

    • Fran says:

      I am glad and a little jealous that you got out, but at some point, you were in, just like me.And everyone one of your points are correct and then some. But there is always something holding many of us back from leaving. For me it’s always that one student, that one that does something or says something that reminds me why I continuously endure the abuse from society who looks down at our profession. You see we know it’s not easy and we never expect to be compensates for our worth, but when we signed on, we also knew it wasn’t for the money either. You see my family will always have my heart and soul, even when I give so much of myself to my students during the day that I can’t even mustard up a real hug and kiss to my daughter with special needs when I get home. Or worst are the days when I am so frustrated and pissed off after another pointless parent teacher conference , that I try and fail at taking my frustration out on my family. But as I said before my heart and soul belongs to my family but that one student has my spirit and that is why my intrinsic desire to teach under such horrible conditions can never and will never change. That spirit and love of a profession that will NEVER love me back, but that one student who has touched my spirit that keeps reminding me why I am vested into this craft of teaching, keeps me in for just a while longer. You see at times is not even about the curriculum that we teach, it’s about a teachers capacity to where multiple hats. We are parents, counselors, mentors, school supply store, grocery store, cooks,extended care givers, Dear Abby Advise giving, or just an ear to listen to or sometimes just a caring hug or greeting to a child who gets absolutely no sort of affection or acknowledge at home. But at school from their teacher, they get the so much more than just the curriculum. Teaching is not for everyone, just as being a parent is not for everyone. The hours for both are long and seems endless. The pay for both will never equate our true self worth. But our hearts, soul and spirit are given to both roles. So I am glad you got out when you did. And a little piece of me is jealous that you did. But the rest of me will still be staying for all the reasons I mentioned above and even more so for the reasons I didn’t.

    • Erin says:

      You need to speak to your union representative or call the unions and get organized. This it ridiculous. FTA and other teacher unions are out there. Even the Teamsters will do it. My State is also a right to work state but you will still have unions in Texas that will organize the teachers. My Union is good. My cousins going through the same issues in Arizona and they also need to form a formal teachers union.

    • Patricia says:

      Greetings:

      It’s called having compassion, empathy and wanting to make a difference. Observing the inequities and desiring to do something about it.
      I know persons that made a lot of money but did not enjoy the work. They took lots of vacations.

      Another example, Former President Obama NEVER set out to be the POTUS. He simply wanted to make a difference in that community in the city of Chicago. The jouney took him to the Oval office. He too saw the inequities and wanted to make a difference.

      I am a senior and I remember those teachers in elementary school that went above and beyond BECAUSE they wanted to make a difference. They did not come to class just to pick up a paycheck.

      I am glad the person who stated that she got out of teaching when she did. We need DEDICATED AND DILIGENT TEACHERS THAT ARE COMMITTED TO TEACHING OUR STUDENTS.
      Thanks. teachers for all of your HARD WORK, DILIGENCE AND COMMITMENT TO OUR STUDENTS. BLESSINGS:-)

    • Rose Valle says:

      And with all that, we look to see what we can do for future adults that will end up running this country. I am a ParaEducator for 17 years and I’ve had gifted students that were in my classrooms and have come up to me in a store or restaurant to said thank you for being there for us all. This one special student became a doctor and introduced me to her parents as well. That’s why I am still in education, to help anyone who needs the assistance.

  2. katsii2@gmail.com says:

    I wish there was something tangible we could do. I don’t have money..but maybe there are tasks that could be delegated to willing volunteers. just wishing i guess. There’s only so much one human can do…be kind to yourself.

    • Annette Engel says:

      What can I do for a teacher? I am not working now and have a background as a licensed mental health counsor. I would love to do anything to help from grading papers to being a sounding board to the teacher or student. I think I’ll call the high school here tomorrow and see but I want to help a teacher or kids not a principal or administrator.

      • Katherine Silveira says:

        I volunteer right now in our full distance learning education. I am a co host for my second graders zoom. I am there to mute/un mute. Chat if having tech problems, go in break out room for a one on one if needed. And I’m also entertainer when the teacher needs to transition.

        For hybrid, I will probably do the same. Co host virtual half to keep kids on task and fill in gaps/transitions.

      • SP says:

        School-based Administrators need help too. Imagine trying to navigate the storm of this year and watching as your staff’s morale is plummeting and there’s nothing you can do except argue with the powers-that-be, who just won’t budge and constantly want to pile more on. I am a school counselor and it’s the most depressing thing to watch. I see our teacher’s struggling, admin team struggling, and I want to help but I’m so bogged down with extra and extended duties that I don’t even know where to begin. I try by staying consistent and positive in the little bit of time I have for interaction. It’s exhausting. I’m exhausted.

      • Kristy says:

        Being on “our side,” and speaking up for us is probably the biggest thing you can do! There are way too many people who have 0 understanding of what this PROFESSION involves-PRE-PANDEMIC-and now, triple that! People are quick to judge and blame teachers for everything that’s wrong in this world (it seems), but only a few are showing any amount of compassion & understanding, or even trying to understand. Teachers need allies like you! Thank you so much for your compassion & desire to help. Please do call your local district. I’m sure their GC’s will help you find the best way to support teachers & students right now & I’m sure they will be more than appreciative of your offer! ❤️Thank you.

  3. Annie says:

    As a retired teacher, my heart is with all of you. Even in my teaching days, I often felt as you do eloquently wrote and can’t even fathom how stressful your days are now. I am praying for all of our educators’ Peace, stamina, wisdom on when to begin and end your workdays, and for your decisions to be guided by the Lord

    • Michael Rodriguez says:

      Thank you Annie for your prayers! They are coveted and needed. It is often in people like you and in the Lord that I find strength to face each day as a teacher… keep praying! To my fellow teachers… fight the good fight!

  4. Beatrice says:

    As a retired teacher, I can well imagine what you’re going through. You brought me to tears because I can remember how difficult a teacher’s day can be even before COVID-19. Now, it sounds almost impossible! I can only hope that things improve soon for you and countless others, and also for the children who are missing so much! Prayers coming your way! Hang in there because the kids need teachers as dedicated as you!

  5. Joe Hayes says:

    Your superintendent is right. It’s hard, but sometimes things don’t get fixed until you let them break. Hang in there!

  6. Dee says:

    I’ve taught for 30 years. I was planning on six more. I was coming back off of disability in August, spent two weeks learning all the platforms and prep—and the night before we were evacuated from the cZU complex fires during which I took a hard tumble down our steep driveway and broke a rib. Homeless until last Friday when I got three dog bites. We still have no water to drink or wash in. All my district wants to know is when I’ll be back. Trite sorries —my entire yard is gone, my neighborhood is mostly gone—but when will you be back? I’m disgusted.

  7. Mary Tucker says:

    We the public ask too much. Learning for most of us is communal with guidance from the teacher and collaboration from our peers. Teachers receive much from their students greater understanding of how important what they do is to our futures. Respect them and understand what impossible we are asking.

  8. Jackie says:

    God bless you. Hang in there. I truly appreciate your candor. I’m teaching on line – 3 preps 140 kids, and the district is looking to go hybrid. Praying every day for guidance and patience.

    • Kellye says:

      My district started with a hybrid plan. I also have 140 students, give or take a few – 3 preps. I’m praying daily that we stay in hybrid because cases are still high in our community and state and this is safer for all of us. I feel what she wrote so deeply though.

  9. Patti Broussard says:

    I taught for 18 years and would have probably given up. Parents do appreciate you. I have 7 grandchildren 3-12 grades. They are all in F2F instruction, hated virtual and are happy to be in school. Two of them had anxiety attacks trying to keep up with the virtual and they are engaged smart kids. I pray for teachers daily.

  10. Hannah Yoder says:

    For what it’s worth, I still believe you’re all heroes! ❤️ I wanted to be a teacher and God knew he needed me elsewhere. I saw that watching all the teachers I know, even before the pandemic. It’s hard being a nurse too but I couldn’t be a teacher right now. God’s blessings over you! These students need you as much as you need them.

  11. Lisa M McDermott says:

    Your dedication is awesome! I am sure that you’re an amazing teacher. But I am going to suggest that you Try to do less! I know it sounds crazy because I’m a retired teacher and I get it! It’s almost impossible to convince yourself to sacrifice the quality of instruction you deliver daily but you must do it !!! Save yourself!!! And look for job alternatives for next year. This year, ask less of yourself and be satisfied.

    • Caroleen Hodge says:

      You are exactly right. I’ve had to tell and TELL our teachers that they have to ask less of themselves AND of the kids. We’re hybrid and it cannot POSSIBLY the same with the same expectations and progress as during a “normal” year. You cannot get in 5 days of instruction with 2 in-person/3 at home days or with 5 days at home, like you would during a regular year. It’s an impossibility! Understand that. Our biggest goal right now is to keep kids thinking and interacting and providing the contact and mental health support they need. Hopefully they will learn a little something too and have successes! They will see your heart and care in the fact that you are there with them. Choose the things that are the MOST important for them to learn….I know, I know…..it’s ALL important! But you are going to have to choose from ALL and whittle it down to a few, for now. You cannot run yourself down, or you won’t do yourself, or your students, ANY good! Give yourself a little grace!

    • Jen says:

      I’m a teacher doing this too. These are hours needed for the bare minimum. I can’t figure out how to do less in these circumstances. It takes that much time just to be ready. I’m behind on grading and parent communication, and I shouldn’t be with the hours I put in.

    • Mary says:

      I am so sorry for all that you teachers are having to go through this year. I’m a teacher of 46 years. I loved my job and still teach a couple 1-credit courses online. I think Lisa gives good advice. The first time you do something new, just do your best to get by. Should you have to repeat it a second time, you can add to and improve your first attempts. Sometimes, we just have to protect ourselves while still doing our very best. You sound like an awesome teacher. Prayers. You are heroes!

    • Jessica Cox says:

      I agree 💯. This is what I’m doing. Scale back and ponder if the kids in person are more important than the ones at home? No way. I’m teaching exactly like it was remote but I have kids in the room with me. This is saving my sanity.

  12. Jaime G says:

    I am hanging on to every one of your words! This is exactly how I have been feeling! I love my job but I hate what it has become! We went from heroes to zeroes in zero to 60 seconds! I am so overwhelmed with everything. This is my 20th year teaching- I’m no rookie, but I can’t keep my head above the water. I’m drowning and it is taking a toll!

  13. Educator Retired says:

    Bless you! This would have been my 32nd year. I said goodbye after the first day of class. In the couple of weeks leading up to school starting, we had to learn 2 new programs. Be certified in one and make a month’s worth of assignments in the other. All on our own with no PD on the programs. We were teaching ourselves using YouTube videos. When things didn’t work the way they should, we just kept trying until we figured it out. Oh and did I mention, our Math curriculum is 12 years old. We have no SS or Science curriculum.

    The only PPE we were provided was ONE (one-ply) mask. Nothing to clean with and the janitors were not going to be able to help us, even with trash. No breaks all day, because the class would have to stay together for everything. That first day, I had 10 minutes to eat and go to the bathroom.

    Number 1: I have an autoimmune, so if I got this virus, it wouldn’t be good. I had one boy tell me, “Maybe I’ll give it to you.”
    Number 2: I’m old…I need to go to the bathroom every once in awhile. And I like to eat!
    Number 3: No social distancing. No room for it, but it’ll be ok.
    Number 4: No mask mandate. As of this week, there have been over 20 staff that have been quarantined, and I don’t know how many classes, and at least one whole bus. That’s just in elementary with around 400 kids.
    Number 6: Library wouldn’t open until October, at least. I have a small library in my room, but by October, they would have read everything I have. BUT make sure you bring up every child, because you know they’ve missed a lot of school and every one is behind. No small groups though!
    Number 5: 50-60 hours a week with no extra compensation. And that was before school started. I don’t know what it would have been after the kids were there. It’s just not sustainable! At least, not for me.
    Number 6: I’m not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants teacher. I work during the summer to make sure I have things ready to go during the year. But I couldn’t do that this year, because we didn’t know what we were going to do and weren’t told about the programs until it was stress out time!

    The stress and anxiety were too much for me. I didn’t feel like I could do my job under those circumstances. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made, but in all actuality, it was the only decision I could make.

  14. I teach gifted ed in person and online kids…it is for sure challenging and stressful. We are all struggling….the online kids do not participate and yet we have to treat it like a class…nothing we can do except keep on….

    Hugs to you….we will survive this! I just know we will!

  15. Sandy says:

    Three teachers in my building have gone on meds, including me. I couldn’t stop the tears and started throwing up on the way to school every morning. Three teachers in our small district have resigned. I’m going to finish this year, I just can’t hurt my students, but come May, I am DONE!!! I’m so heartbroken that this is how my last year is going. I pray that it will end on a positive note.

  16. Dena says:

    I am so sorry. I taught for 33 years and when Covid hit, all I could think was, “Thank God I’m retired.” My heart breaks for teachers and for students. All need to be in school. Praying for you.

  17. Chris Simpson says:

    Have taught Sp Ed for 20 + years. Teaching online now but they are bring students back soon. 6 preps , 40 students daily and ieps to write, update and manage. I am also ready to give it all up, can’t take much more physically or emotionally. Something has to give.

  18. frances tyler says:

    And, here in Texas, TEA requires all beginning teachers be observed in the first three weeks of school! Is that helpful or harmful? Ask an experienced teacher in this COVID educational environment. If “I’m thinking of quitting “ is struggling, a beginning teacher is drowning.
    Now, I will do climb down from my soapbox.

  19. I am one of the many teachers across the country that has been laid off or given a “temporary reduction in force due to lack of work” It angers me that the decision just makes it harder for my coworkers.

  20. Lu Ann Hommen says:

    I retired after teaching for 36 years. I would never have been able to do what our teachers are asked to do at this time. I needed that face-to-face interaction from my students on a daily basis. More importantly, they needed to see me for stability, reassurance, and human interaction that they got from an adult. These were things that many of my students only got from one place and that was at school and from their teacher. I pray that this pandemic comes to an end soon or I worry that we are going to lose a lot of dedicated, patient, creative, and valued teachers. Please remember to take care of yourself. Without you being physically and mentally healthy,
    this job that you once loved will become a chore. Something that you must face , with “tears”, each day you walk through your classroom door. I wish you luck with the teaching situation you are now facing and only hope that things will return to normal; or that the new normal is what is best for both teachers and students.

  21. Julie says:

    Teaching for 34 years has taught me a few things. Patience and respect for all teachers this year is necessary. It’s hard, one if the hardest things I’ve had to do.
    If you know a teacher realize we are exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally. They will keep it together in front of the class or while on the computer but tears surely follow when they are finished for the day. Remember we have families also depending on us to help them through remote learning! So check in on your teachers- make sure they are ok!

  22. Cheryl says:

    Another very sad point not mentioned above is that our district and state are mandating more reports, more data and a reading academy that is more than 80 hours, plus graded tests and writings, 2 separate office hours per week and 2 office periods with our online students per day. Nothing has been taken away, but new duties, trainings, reports, etc., have been added. It is too much, with no end in sight. I have not had a day off from working since the last week in July when we had to complete online training for how to teach online and in-person students. I’m at work 10.5-11 hours per day, plus 3 evenings per week, and both weekends days. And yet, administrators say, “You won’t have to work evenings or weekends.” Like the author stated, we DO if the students are to have instruction. Sadly, I don’t think administrators realize what our lives are like now.

  23. The first day with kids there was so custodian. There is alway about a 2 hour window with no custodian in the building and in the course of the custodianless window I had both on my floor.
    No prep period, 100 kids, I am with the in-person kids from the minute the first kid arrives (7:45) to the minute the last one leaves (yesterday that was 4:30 due to a bus breaking down).
    I say no prep period because my prep period is when they normally go to music, art, etc but those teachers are teaching from their classrooms and so I have to stay on my room to monitor them.
    I have to clean the desks after they eat breakfast and lunch.

  24. A says:

    I move to hybrid in a week. Are your at home students allowed to “zoom” into your class or are they totally asynchronous? Our at home kids will be zooming in to our classrooms which I am hoping will decrease the amount of lessons that need to be written with the exception of labs. Good luck! I feel for you (me?) 🤣

  25. RT says:

    I sympathize with you and I know it an imposible job, they are asking way to much from all, teacher, students and parents. We as parent have to do everything you are doing try to figure out how the heck each teacher sent the work, what platform to use cause he trained in one for a whole week and at the last minute they changed to another just for virtual students. So we don’t know where anything is at and once you find the work and you are frustrated you have to explain everything to you child in a calm, sweet tone because you don’t want to stress him out too. And at the end when your children have done their work and the parent has had to YouTube or google how to teach the kid what ever they sent with out an explanation of how to do it from the teacher, the damn chrome book won’t load the freaking file and it give you an error. The next day the teacher responds we are working on that error make sure he/she does fall behind and continues to do the work. I think we need leniency from both parents and teacher and students.

    • Kellye says:

      I’m sorry that has been your experience. Communication is key. I have said that so many times to my students…and grace and patience. I know I have made tutorials on almost everything students would have to do in my online classroom. Maybe you could reach out to your child’s teacher(s) and ask if they have done that or could? My problem is managing to connect with students and parents. Neither one responds to me with the ones who are floundering. I can’t help them if there is no communication. I hope it gets better for you and your child.

  26. Indiana Parent says:

    My daughter is a second year teacher several states away from me. My heart aches to hear how things are going.
    I also have two adolescents on the other side of all of this.
    My husband and I both work full time, although I have the good fortune to work at home.
    It’s hard on all of us, and the outcome is not going to be ideal. I thought for a while that we should just not have school at all this year, but I became more in favor of at least trying to keep the kids from losing ground.
    I agree with some of the other comments – go easy on yourself. Adjust the expectations where you can. We, parents and community and students, need you to make it through this rotten time with your sanity intact! ❤️🙏🏼
    How can we help?

  27. L says:

    I commend all teachers during this time. Yes it’s difficult for EVERYONE! Not just the teachers ALL have had to learn to ways… but to talk about QUITTING??? As a grandmother doing this remote learning… I can’t quit!!!! I have to listen to all the zoom meetings… view all the slides…. then answer the kids questions the kids have AFTER the slides or live lessons! The teachers are doing an amazing job instructing and being there for the kids… I’m impressed even with their quick messaging when there is a problem … if to talk about quitting because of this… maybe teaching is not for you then.
    In others jobs there are changes.. big changes all the time and people change the way they do things…plus many go home.. take work home and don’t get paid for it! It’s not a new thing for many!

    • Sandy says:

      I am sorry, Ms L, but you really don’t understand how bad this is for teachers. There is a massive difference between listening to zooms and viewing slideshows to creating all of that content to suit face-to-face, virtual, differentiation, introduction of material, formative and summative assessments (which also must be scored), and remediation. I worked 11-12 hour days before Covid and retired in June. What teachers have asked to do this year is beyond anything a human can do for more than a short time. I know this is hard for parents and guardians, but it doesn’t compare.

    • AJteacher says:

      It’s pretty obvious that you do not “commend all teachers”. I have been teaching for 13 years, after 20 years in the private sector “corporate America”. Nothing, compares to this year, NOTHING! I worked in fast paced, technology driven, innovative industries and I have never been asked to commit so much to the job/calling. I’m a teacher with adult children and I’m a widow, I have been in 24/7 teacher mode, i cannot imagine what teachers with families are going through.

      Yes, I’ve thought of quitting, I’m not sure I can sustain the level of expectation that exists. I would love to be in a position to support my grandchildren as they distance or hybrid learn, but I’m busy supporting everyone else’s expectations.

      I’m tired of being a scapegoat and a whipping boy because I chose to teach. If we can’t support teaching for what it is, let’s keep our negativity to ourselves.

  28. Debra Funderburk says:

    Oh, my goodness! I knew before that teachers were not appreciated like they should be, but this just totally makes me cry for all the teachers out there! I don’t believe there is any profession that has more dedicated people than the teaching profession — teachers who are trusted with our most valuable and prized possessions – our children. That doesn’t sound good because we don’t own our children, but I couldn’t find the right word to use. All I know is that teachers are the most dedicated, loving people in our whole universe! Thank you to all the teachers out there doing what you do best! And God Bless every one of you!!!

  29. Elizabeth Ballard says:

    We have been doing hybrid for 5 weeks now. I am a K-8 art teacher in 2 schools. Half the kids come Monday and Wednesday, the others Tuesday and Thursday. I have to teach in person and prepare lessons for at home work. I have 30 in person classes/preps in 4 days, with 10 classes each Monday and Tuesday, and 10 at home lessons to prepare each week. I originally had 14 Google classrooms, but have streamlined that now, only 8.

    I had 4 meltdowns before the first week was over.

    I have to plan lessons so each class is using different materials because there is no sharing. In a 30 minute elementary class, I have to squirt each child with hand sanitizer, teach a concept, pass out every individual supply, help pick up dropped items, give genuine feedback and support, collect the supplies and art, line up the kids 6 feet apart and spray all the stuff with sanitizer before the next class walks in. I often don’t pee until 11.

    It is a sweaty process. And it is becoming a little bit more manageable. You would think by the 5th week the kids would have the routine down, but they have only been to school for 8-10 times. Routines aren’t set yet.

    And I love my students. I had the best class with my 8th graders just yesterday. With the small classes, we are bonding like never before and they are able to learn in a more cozy setting.

    This is my 20th year. It will be the most memorable, for sure.

  30. Jill Biteman says:

    I know you are struggling and I feel for you. I am in my 17th year of teaching. I transferred to a different building this year and as luck would have it I was assigned to PK, a grade I have never taught before. Well, I took all the online training over the summer, read the TAs and went to school for the first two weeks to prepare my classroom then I was put on a temporary RIF! So when you feel discouraged remember those of us who would love to be back in the classroom….. whatever that means. I truly hope things get better for you. Keep doing your best!

  31. Kathy says:

    We do because we care for our students and we want them to succeed in life. Working til 10:00 every night getting the lessons, the grading , the attendance, adjusting for 504’s and IEP’s. Making the conferences work on Schoology. Trying to teach in a way that requires you to think way out of the box. Not wanting to leave any goals out for the e-learning students. Thinking back to the days of Romper Room- ” I see Kenny and Debbie and look there’s Kathy .” I just want school to return to normal.

  32. Wendy Jo says:

    I am right there with you! So are my friends, colleagues, and family members who teach. I’ve been watching 25 year veteran teachers sobbing in the bathroom and hallways. I can’t imagine how a new teacher would do this without having my arsenal of tricks and tools. It isn’t sustainable. I got a calendar invite for a new initiative a couple of days ago and, even though it wasn’t optional, I clicked “decline”. I said no because I can’t add one more thing to my brain. I am doing this one day at a time, because trying to imagine this for an entire semester, let alone a school year, makes me want to quit. Love and hugs to you and all of the other educators out there.

  33. Donna Downing says:

    Educator Retired

    I taught Technology for 28 years. I was sitting at my desk in February thinking “enough”. The students were great, but I was getting tired of all the small things that were piling up. You know, attitude of office staff and admin to keep giving and giving, going in early and staying late always with no real lunch times. Very stressful.

    I remember telling my admin and central office I’m retiring, and they looked so confused. Why they asked…….so I went thru the usual things. In reality all they wanted was competent body to do the work. So, I decided to make a book of my responsibilities and “how to” create all the state reports that I’ve done and gave it to them. I never received a stipend for all that extra work either. So off I went retired and glad to be.

    The traditional rocker was delivered to my home. Very nice, and then came the surveys to continue to help after retiring….why…..because hybrid was changing the way data was being done, I feel for the new hybrid teaching, …….I know some students don’t respond, but parents complain. Admin is confused etc. Glad I am retired.

  34. Joanie says:

    I feel like you read my mind. I’m into my 28th year of teaching, and I can tell you one thing for sure. I’ve never worked so hard to feel so mediocre. I’ve worked so hard with on line learning and am glad to help my 115 students whenever and wherever I can. I appreciate the parents who understand our situation and support us. You’re right. We went from heroes to losers in about a day when some parents found out we were moving to all on line classes and they couldn’t drop their children off for “child care.” I use to love teaching and if it was only teaching the kids it would be fantastic, but it’s not anymore. It’s now “teachers are lazy, I’m not doing enough, parents who say I owe them because they pay their taxes,” angry parents who ask how I’m going to socialize their child, learning a ton of new tech platforms, administrators who don’t understand but make promises to parents on my behalf, students and parents finding out information about school before I do, and working 60+ hours a week for a salary most would not accept. But what upsets me most is the blatant disrespect for my health during a time when people are dying. Please, we are going through a world wide pandemic, let’s not forget what is really important here.

  35. Heather says:

    Can you show more detail on your LMS setup? I’m trying to make my Canvas page easier to navigate for both students and myself. What are your daily to-dos, your daily warm-ups?

    Thanks!

  36. Work4Gov says:

    The problem is that you are expected to deliver a curriculum that is Largely based on your district getting huge state and federal grant funds from the government; your state DOE. You’re forced by your district to pile assignments onto your students that line up with the deliverables of all the programs your district receives funding for. The districts make your life a living hell because you are the workhorse for the administration to remain getting paid big fat salaries derived solely from huge grants. This is the plain truth and until the system of education and the way teachers and admin are paid, you will still be the workhorse and wearing a mask, doing online/in school learning to be compliant good little workers, or else you don’t get paid.

  37. Ed says:

    17th year teaching. 16 years working 10, 12, 14 hour days + weekends. Not anymore. Today I am buying everything from TPT. I work my *** off during the contract day but then I close my computer around 4. People are pissed at me because I’ve got late paperwork. My coworkers are frustrated with me. Parents are frustrated and pissed because I’m not answering them as soon as soon as they would like. I still lose a little sleep and I hate that my instruction isn’t what it *could* be. But we have all been set up to fail this year! And guess what? I’m still happier overall. I’m DONE laying down my life for this profession. I’m done crying over this profession. I’m done missing time with my family and SO over this profession. I’m done spending my evenings working my fingers to the bone just so the public, parents, and lawmakers can bitch about us. Peace.

  38. Jo says:

    It is unsustainable. If you want to be around for your family and for your students, post-covid, you’re going to have to find a more sustainable set of strategies. Given the remote study students don’t tend to do their work anyway, maybe see if you can tone down preparations in that regard. Or maybe there are Youtube versions of experiments you can use to show the students working remotely. To keep doing what you’re doing will harm your health, physically and mentally and will impact unfavourably on you and your family. Maybe my suggestions are not suitable, maybe you’ll think of other solutions to help you get through, so that we don’t lose great teachers like yourself because they had a nervous breakdown or got burnt out or just got fed up. Best wishes to you.

  39. Tyler S Esch says:

    I’m saying a prayer for you tonight, and every night. Kids need dedicated teachers, but somehow society needs to lift you up and make your job realistic. Thank you for your dedication and service, praying for your well being and relief!
    From SW Nebraska..

  40. Dave Buster says:

    Not too long ago, I worked 100 hour weeks for almost 2 years at my tech job, just to stay employed. I burned out and turned into an alcoholic for 3 years, gained 60 pounds, then got let go and my wife decided we should separate. I feel it.

  41. Gary erb says:

    Hang in there. This is definitely a trying time for everyone. My granddaughter started kindergarten this year. Something that should be really special in her young life. It’s hard keeping her focused and she wants to meet and play with her school mates. The day will come when the kids are back in class and being able to put their young minds to work and learn in person. You guys are hero’s and have our respect. Stay safe and keep fighting. Thank you for what you do.

  42. Connie says:

    I have 34 years of public education as an 7-12 year teacher-mostly 7th grade. When asked by my peers, “when are you going”, my answer was always, “I’ll know when it’s time”. I am a teacher in the fullest extent of any and all definitions. I have always cherished what pride that word embodies and still do. Due to several circumstances-many having to do with the changes technology has had in altering the face of education-I became insecure. I did not have the advanced skills I saw as a prediction of things to come. The main problem with that wasn’t my inability to learn, it was the lack of resources and time availability of those having the needed skills to teach me and others like me . Our fundamental way of teaching was augmented by technology, not primarily based on navigating several programs and initiatives at once. I can learn and love learning-I continue to do so as a life long learner. Schools shut their doors to in person teaching about March 15th. My district requested intention statements of retirement by March 30-before all this all happened. Weighing things in my brain tormented me. I have so much left to give, so much love of teaching, passion for all things students-but I knew my time was here. With 10 minutes to spare I sent my letter at 11:50 p.m.

    My new role has become one of encouragement and suggestions for trouble shooting. I am heartbroken for my peers who are enduring the anxiety I do not have as part of the existing reality. I know I am “done”, but if you have identified as a teacher for 34 years(plus many years in higher education) you just don’t turn off the switch. Find your inner core of self worth and never doubt you are brave and wonderful. I applaud you all.

  43. Hi! My name is Rita, and I’m Deputy Editor for Scary Mommy. We love this piece and are wondering if you’d be interested in syndicating it with us, but I couldn’t find an email. If you’re interested in allowing us to run it on our site, please email me at rita@somepsider.com!

  44. Jill says:

    I love my kids and I love teaching, but I’m not willing to sacrifice myself or my family for this situation. I will put in my normal ours plus a little more that I choose, but I didn’t cause this problem, I didn’t make the decision to be hybrid and I am certainly not the messiah! I have not doubt that no matter what I do, it won’t be enough to overcome the current circumstances. Just because I choose to care for myself does not mean that I don’t care about my students!

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