Back on May 6, the City of Tamarac posted the following:
“It’s Teacher Appreciation Week! Join us (virtually) in thanking our schoolteachers for all they do to shape today’s youth. Their dedication not only inspires, but also paves the path for life’s journeys.”
Seven people reacted to this post. Two people shared it. No one commented.
On May 8, the city tried again:
“Today marks the last day of Teacher Appreciation Week. To celebrate our educators, comment below with a story of a teacher who positively impacted your life and helped you become the person you are today.”
Of the over 5,000 people following the city’s Facebook page, exactly zero of them left a comment.
This time, only four people reacted and only one person shared it. Perhaps folks were suffering from an overload of Teacher Appreciation Week posts.
Now, most of us know that it’s of course so easy to hit the “like” (or “love” or “haha” – you get the idea) button, and in fairness, the first post didn’t ask for anything other than people to join in thanking our teachers. So perhaps many of us said a silent “thank you” and went about our day.
The second post, however, asked for the city’s over 5,000 followers to share a story about an inspiring teacher. I was struck by the deafening silence. After all, in normal times (or should I say, back when normal was, you know, normal), parents would have been scrambling to buy that perfect “Teacher Appreciation Week” gift. Here’s a silver lining to the online learning pandemic: we’re mostly off the hook this year on teacher gifts. On the other hand, however, we’ve paid a very high price for becoming our children’s teachers: our sanity.
I have never been so grateful to be the parent of adult children. I do, however, have a six-year-old granddaughter, and to say that her parents’ experience as sudden teachers has been challenging is a vast understatement. I have a video of precious Emma on the day of her first “Mommy’s my teacher” day, and to say that the video should come with warning labels is also a vast understatement.
So it occurs to me that perhaps more people would have commented if the city instead asked, “For those of you with school age children, what do you most appreciate about teachers now that you’ve walked a mile (or a thousand, depending on how well your child has adapted) in their shoes?” I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the reactions might have been wildly different.
What about you? Are you the parent of a school-age child, or maybe a teacher, or maybe, like me, a smug grandma? How are you faring during this unprecedented time? Leave us a comment below; we’d love to hear about it!
Photo by PxHere