Amid school closures and quarantines due to the coronavirus outbreak, Jennifer Koteles — a second grade teacher from California — recently wrote a PSA about what teachers are going through on a daily basis during this incredibly strange time. In a Facebook post, she detailed the new responsibilities teachers have needed to stay on top of, as well as how to help anyone who works as an educator.
"Check on your teacher friends! Seriously! Send them a big virtual hug. In my 20 something years of teaching this has been the hardest week of my career," she wrote. "I can't speak for all teachers, I know every school, district, and state is handling this pandemic differently. But, teachers all over the country are working their butts off. We're on the front lines."
Along with being asked to potentially teach children virtually — and learning all the technology that comes with it — Jennifer shared how stressful it is to prepare lesson plans months ahead of time and having to constantly sanitize their classrooms.
"We are cleaning every surface of our classroom, desks, pencils, markers, light switches, and sinks five times a day to ensure the health and safety of our students," she wrote. "We're transforming areas of our houses to look like mini classrooms; hanging posters, buying whiteboards, making sure we have all the materials we need to teach from home. We are lugging these materials back-and-forth to school every single day, three months of supplies and lessons, to make sure we have everything we need at home just in case we shut down."
"We're calmly and patiently reminding children 57 times a day not to pick their nose."
Obviously, parents are understandably concerned, which takes a lot of communication on the teachers' parts. "We're answering dozens of emails a night about why things won't load or why the technology is glitching when we don't really know ourselves," she explained, adding that teachers are working to try to calm kids' nerves, too.
"We're calmly and patiently trying to ease our children's anxiety and fears, their parents anxiety and fears, and the administration's anxiety and fears about the unknown of what will happen when school closes," she said. "We're calmly and patiently reminding children 57 times a day not to pick their nose and asking them sweetly to wash their hands when they don't listen to us."
Her advice? Make sure all the teachers in your lives are hanging in there! And while you're at it, there's nothing wrong with sending over a cup of coffee, bottle of wine, or any extra Purell you might have laying around.