Teacher Appreciation Week: They wanted respect. It only took a corona virus pandemic and worldwide economic collapse

By Erin Richards, Arika Herron and MJ Slaby for USA Today

Remember when you didn’t think about teachers much all day? 

They taught fractions and literature behind closed doors. Their work felt normal and necessary. We knew some were underpaid and underappreciated. Strikes that shut down schools in Seattle, Los Angeles and Chicago stirred public support and highlighted teachers’ plight.

Then public schools serving approximately 55 million children in America shut down overnight, leaving parents to oversee the academic progress of their children at home. Through the corona virus pandemic, millions of families realized that teachers are not just convenient but essential. 

“How most teachers are being viewed right now is right up there with health care workers,” said Ruth Faden, a professor of biomedical ethics at Johns Hopkins University. “Now is the time to give the biggest possible shout-out to teachers.”

To be sure, some educators have become less visible. And some families have been frustrated by a lack of planning or too many expectations. But overall? Millions of educators have risen above what they were trained to do, throwing themselves not only into online teaching with virtually no preparation but also into other impromptu roles: video editor, device distributor, tech support, meal site worker, car parade driver, sidewalk-chalk writer, window waver.

Read more here.

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