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I am an educator. When the pandemic shut down schools for in-person learning, it was done for most “on a dime.” And the reality is, if most of us were honest, the quality of what it was we could provide was not up to par. But it was not just that teachers lacked resources to do well, there were so many factors impacting students. Some families did not have adequate internet access, and some did not have access to internet at all. For others, parents who were essential workers needed to go to work in person. This sometimes left older siblings both babysitting younger siblings and going to school. As the economy faded, students at home were needed to go out and work themselves.
For educators, this presented so many challenges it was difficult to discover solutions that worked for every situation. Moreover, teachers had their own concerns about health, childcare and more. The toll all this took on educators was significant. Again and again, I hear those who taught say the same thing. They have never felt as tired and exhausted as they do now. As successful education is built on relationships, for many educators the task was the health and well-being of their students. As they feared for their own safety, public opinion often shifted against them. Parents needed to work and to have their children safe in schools. There was broad recognition that online learning was inferior to in-person learning. The hope is that teachers will be able to focus on what they do best next year: teach. As we continue this Rosary Marathon, let us pray for all teachers, students and educators.
Today’s Intention: For all teachers, students and educators.