Everyone has that one teacher who changed school for them. I bet you’re thinking of them right now — that one conversation between the two of you that inspired you, how their class cleared up the vision of what you wanted to do with the rest of your life and so on.
Growing up, I was lucky enough to have a couple teachers like that. They were mostly history and English teachers who had a combination of grit and empathy that only a good teacher can have.
As teachers across the country and world are forced to throw out their meticulous lesson plans in favor of online learning in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, I’m reminded of the commitment good teachers and college professors have to their students.
Like everyone else, teachers have had their worlds turned upside down as social distancing and quarantining take over. But I’d bet each and every one of them is investing the maximum amount of time and energy to make sure their students are safe and cared for. Aside from that, they’ll make sure their students keep learning as much as they can.
The other day, I saw a Facebook post from my hometown school district saying every child would receive a phone call from their teacher to check in with them. Now that’s commitment.
My sister, a French teacher in Minnesota, is not only transitioning her own classes online (an especially extreme challenge for a foreign language teacher), but she’s helping other more rigid, less tech-savvy teachers learn the necessary technology. Now that’s commitment.
My high school sociology teacher — whose class helped draw me to a career in journalism — posted on Facebook to help parents who suddenly have to adapt to homeschooling their kids, along with working from home. Now that’s commitment.
It’s easy to get frustrated with teachers and professors with whom you butt heads. Or who pile on the work with little regard for your well-being. Or who don’t seem like they care about their class. After all, if they don’t care, why should you?
But, at least in my experience, for every rotten, lazy, harsh or snarky teacher, there are way more teachers who show compassion, tough love and intelligence. Oh, and commitment. Can’t forget about that.
Teachers deserve a tip of our hats every day of the year, not just when we’re in the midst of a pandemic.
Thank a teacher this week.
And check out The Phoenix Editorial Board’s editorial this week for other people to thank in the midst of this global crisis.
This week, our coverage of COVID-19 continues. The News section includes the latest, including a report on the first Loyola-related case.
In sports, basketball fans revel in alternate March Madness brackets in the absence of the NCAA Tournament and Loyola athletics officials analyze the impacts of the cancelation of spring sports on the athletics department.
In A&E, bands respond to changing schedules as the coronavirus spread led to canceled tours and shows and The Phoenix provides a list of podcasts to binge during quarantine.