A Mom's Message to Teachers Who Are Stressed Over Virtual Lessons: "Our Kids Will Be OK"
JJ Hirsch, a mom of three from Minnesota, recently opened up about why it's so important to be flexible with your children's teachers right now. In the candid post, she explained that she knows how stressful teaching is at present and that she'll be supportive of whatever educators need to do to get through this time.
"Hey teachers, I just wanted to let you know that however this week goes down — it's all good," she wrote. "We're on your team. This wasn't what you signed up for, and I sort of can't believe you're actually going to attempt [to] do this. Your life is about to become one giant conference call with two dozen nine-year-olds who have no set bedtime and are hopped up on Captain Crunch and whatever their parents have been stress-baking for the past 12 days. What could possibly go wrong?"
Given the current situation, JJ is giving teachers "blanket permission" to do whatever they need to do to keep sane for the next two months. "Your kid wants to sit on your lap while you teach long division? That's great," she said. "Need to stress eat half a bag of Cheetos while you're trying to explain how to calculate experimental error? Go for it. Feel like having morning meeting in your pajamas all month long? It's a judgment free zone here. Lord knows that's what I'll be wearing until at least noon."
JJ knows that while this uncertain time is trying for everyone, teachers have their own families they're worried about on top of making sure all of their students are learning within this new virtual setup. So if educators need to step away for a moment to check on their own parents or take a mental break from formal lessons to simply chat with the kids for 40 minutes, that's perfectly fine with her.
"You've taught them that people will show up for them even when it's hard. You've taught them that communities work together for the greater good."
"See, I don't care if you teach my kids one more thing this semester, and this is why: just by showing up, by checking in, by caring enough to do this freaking IMPOSSIBLE job — you've already taught them the only things I really wanted them to get out of school," she explained. Despite the fact that her kids aren't in school, JJ knows they're getting a different kind of education. "You've taught them that people are flexible — they adapt to new things," she said, adding: "You've taught them that people will show up for them even when it's hard. You've taught them that communities work together for the greater good. You've taught them the world is a good place. That even when [circumstances] are scary, people are good. You've loved them enough to be there — and that's all any of us can do, is love each other through this."
For JJ, those important lessons are enough right now. She signed off by saying: "Our kids will be ok. Take care of yourselves too. We love you. You've got this — and if you don't, I'm not telling."