A Shout Out To The Amazing Teachers Who Are Making Virtual School Work

by Jill Halligan
JIll Halligan/Facebook

This is my teacher. I have 66 more just like her.

What you see is a teacher working on a screen with a class full of students on the other side of the screen.

What I see (and what you can’t see) is a teacher working on THREE computers, an additional keyboard, and a document camera (think high-tech overhead projector, for my friends who haven’t been in school for awhile).

I am watching a 45 minute lesson in her empty classroom today. She is constantly reminding students to leave their cameras on, to leave themselves muted so that everyone can hear. She is reminding parents not to answer for their children. She is asking deep questions and connecting with EVERY. SINGLE. KID.

They are consistently saying her name wrong, and she smiles and responds with delight.

You can FEEL her love for them in her voice and you can witness her patience as she teaches a lesson on similes, metaphors and onomatopoeia. Her content is ON POINT and she delivers it seamlessly. She is driving instruction and meeting my expectations (which is no small task if you know me).

She has at least 10 resource books within arms reach, and she has been at school for over an hour — yet her purse and lunch are still sitting on a counter near her workspace.

JIll Halligan/Facebook

Every single child is engaged.

Every single one.

She wasn’t trained in this. There is no degree or course in “pandemic teaching.” There isn’t a training she can take before she begins and there certainly aren’t any days to get ready.

She isn’t paid “overtime” and is told daily… (mostly by me) that “other duties as assigned” now define her work days. She has taught face-to-face classes to cover in classrooms where we have no substitutes on the same days that she continues to show up for HER class of virtual students all day long. How is that possible? I have NO everloving idea… but she and her team “make it happen.”

She has done this for 6 weeks already, and in 3 more, students will make their choice of virtual or face-to-face again and she will start her routines over like it is a brand new school year.

So, if you doubt the heart of teachers, I want you to remember this post. They are not only checking off all the boxes and checklists, they are showing up for themselves, each other and their kids.

They are bearing a HUGE weight in all of this that most of you will never comprehend, much less understand.

If you know a teacher, continue to fill their buckets… every dang day… they need it every dang day.

If you are one of my teachers — I could not be more proud of each of you! You make my heart sing and I SEE YOU.