OP-ED: Dear Teachers

Lucy Edmunds, Editor-In-Chief, Senior

Dear teachers,

This past year has not been anything we could have expected. We appreciate all that you do for us: your cooperation, patience with technical difficulties, engaging with us, and a myriad more. There is no doubt that the pandemic has taken its toll on our education. We understand that you’ve essentially been stripped of the joy of teaching–student engagement. We know that you are people too, you have your own challenges.

We feel for you and understand your pain. But at the peak of our teenage lives, we have been catapulted into this world of Google Meets and masks. We understand that not many people, regardless of their age, are able to have a carefree good time with friends/family. Our lack of human interaction has had a staggering effect on our mental health. Adolescent years see increased mental illness regardless and it is only amplified by our isolation.

We’ve been banned from doing what brings us joy: peer interaction and social gatherings. Our days feel like a broken record. Sleep, school, phone, repeat. It’s incredibly difficult to rally motivation when all your body wants to do is go back to sleep. We know we should be getting out of bed, getting dressed, exercising, and eating, but sometimes we can’t. We aren’t lazy. We aren’t taking advantage of the situation to get out of work. What we do know is the best that we can. 

We know we have to get into college. We know that we still have to pass our classes. We are trying. You are undergoing the same pandemic, we know, but please be gentle and patient with us. If we aren’t getting our work done, I can assure you we are already beating ourselves up for our lack of motivation, if not being constantly reminded of our failure by family. 

We are in the same boat and need to start working together. I’m sure we can agree that our interactions are the highpoint of most days. Let’s have the conversation about how we are being affected by the pandemic, and try to accommodate both our needs. Teens were never intended to stay sitting all day or only talk to our parents, not friends. In fact, socialization is the main element of young adulthood. We also know that teachers become teachers to impact the lives of their students. We know this is a difficult task via a computer camera. 

Let us work together to overcome the struggles of COVID-19, allow ourselves to both take a much-needed deep breath, and know that we always have support. We are doing our best and know that you are too!

All the best, 

Your students