By: MILO BOYD
Covid has put a strain on the lives of everyone and the world itself. It’s taken and halted lives, forced us into isolation, caused political distraught, etc. Amongst the many people who are struggling, are teachers. The pandemic has caused new kinds of stress for teachers, and it might be easy to overlook these problems but it’s important to recognize them, as most teachers are facing hard challenges during this period.
Something a lot of students have gotten used to is not having to turn on their camera. It’s likely that most teachers can relate to having to teach to black boxes all day, which after a while would be a little tiresome. Whitney Dwyer, a teacher at MetWest High School in Oakland, describes her experience with this, as she tried to percude her students to turn on their camera by saying to them, “Your participation credit goes up if your camera is on…I’m feeling a little lonely.” However despite her efforts, she doesn’t get an answer or a camera to turn on. Along with this, chat logs have made it more than easy for students to “talk” to the teacher without having to use their voice, which can make both student and teacher feel divided. Pair both students not using face cams and the use of chat and you get a severe lack of communication, which can create some pretty awkward zoom moments.
As a student, it’s easy to forget that teachers have lives outside of school. Teachers have kids, personal needs, and hobbies that are crucial in their lives. With the pandemic adding massive changes and stress not only in their profession, but their personal lives, there’s a high chance some teachers might go through burnout. Burnout is being emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted, which can happen when trying to handle all the stress caused by Covid-19. Carly Evans, an english teacher in Sudbury, Massachusetts, says her life is a struggle as she has to educate kids while guiding her own family through the pandemic. Evans says, “I wish I could say I’m handling it oh so well and am on it every day, but I’m not.”
Going back to in-person learning
Recently, our own school, Benicia High School, has started to ease back into in-person learning, and with that comes drastically different environments, routines, and approaches to education. Teachers now face new requirements and more demands, all while dealing with our hybrid system. Along with this, teachers and school staff are at the frontlines in education, making them at risk to Covid-19.
However, hopefully, as time goes on and more people get vaccinated, we can start to see our schooling system go somewhat back to how it was before and these problems disappear.