I’m a teacher’s child

On August 25, Mrs. Sandra Grogan works into the night on her Canvas class, a day after the first day of school. Canvas is one of the new learning management programs teachers and students had to learn to use this year for virtual school.

On August 25, Mrs. Sandra Grogan works into the night on her Canvas class, a day after the first day of school. Canvas is one of the new learning management programs teachers and students had to learn to use this year for virtual school.

Being a teacher’s daughter has never been “normal.”

And now, like everything else, it has become far from normal.

Mrs. Sandra Grogan, a freshman English teacher at Judson, is my mother.

When it was announced that we’d be going back to school virtually, it seemed like it got more hectic in my house, rather than a gaining sense of calmness.

I’m used to her always being busy this time of year, but it is insane right now.

Professional development started on August 10. My mom and her co-workers converged on the school where they sat in their classrooms and attended numerous Zoom meetings that lasted for hours. Most of them focused on learning about two new programs that many of them had never used before.

When these classes were over, my mom would come home and spend her free time creating powerpoints, setting up her online classroom, fidgeting with equipment, programs, or helping her coworkers.

Many students think of teachers as robots that shut down at the end of the school day and power back up the next morning. But sometimes, work comes home with them, intruding on the lives they have outside of school.

On top of having her own family at home, my mom has spent most of the summer trying to create two classrooms – one regular room in the H-wing and one online classroom. My mom is not alone in this; all teachers have been working together and helping each other figure out this very new and confusing virtual world in order to be ready to teach us both online and/or in-person, depending on circumstances.

All while worrying about their own health and safety.

Teachers aren’t perfect; they were just as unprepared and confused about how to go about online school as we students were. But what matters most during this stressful time is that teachers and students really are all on the same team. Together, we will figure this out. 

These are rough times; we’ve never dealt with a deadly virus at the start of a school year before. These men and women are like family to me and I see how hard they’re working. They deserve the same grace that they are going to give us.

My mom and many of her co-workers have spent most of the summer extremely anxious about the return to school. No one was really sure what to expect, but teachers surely wanted whatever it was going to be… to be the best it could be for their students.

Teachers are worried about so many things right now, but they’re pushing through the stress, uncertainty, sleep deprivation, and missing their families.

They’re pushing through all of it because, at the end of the day, this is just what they do – they make things happen. For my mom and many other teachers, their students make it all worth it.

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