Exhausted Educators Deserve Support and Respect

by | Sep 9, 2021 | Editorials and Opinions

Insults and complaints demoralize dedicated, hard-working teachers

Billie Helean, 1st Grade Teacher, Rio Rancho School Employees Union President, Labor Employees Union President, and Labor Liaison to the DPSC Executive Committee

When we finished the last school year,  I really felt confident that we were headed in the right direction. Teachers throughout Rio Rancho Public Schools were ready for the summer and for a much-needed break. Yet here we are. It almost seems as if we are back to square one with the coronavirus.

Recently, I read a post on a Facebook Community page. A parent was complaining that her daughter had been sent home from school because she exhibited symptoms of covid. This parent also complained about the teacher, berating her for following the rules in the school building.

The most frustrating aspect of reading something like that is knowing that the rules are completely beyond the teacher’s control. The teacher is trying to keep her children and herself healthy.

Educators in classrooms across our school district are working their tails off to make sure that students have every resource they need to learn  and to ensure the physical and mental health of every child this school year.

Educators have a very long list of things they must do to meet these needs. And really, not much has changed since last school year: We are once again challenged with expectations of teaching both in-person and virtual students who are learning from home.

Educators aren’t asking for much. What we are asking is that people throughout the community consider the impact of their actions on the children and staff in our schools. Every single person in this community should be doing everything they can to keep every child safe.

The fact that some people don’t see this need gives me pause because the solution is so simple: Wear a mask when you’re in public and stay at least 3 feet away from those surrounding you.

Educators tell me they are frustrated that the community expects them to go well above and beyond the call of duty,  while some people in the community are not willing to take even small steps to ensure that our schools can stay open safely.

Educators are exhausted from continuously feeling like they must push to be respected.

How have educators not earned every ounce of respect in this community? After the last year-and-a-half, every educator in this community should have already earned the kindness and respect of every single person. How much more do educators have to do to feel like they have done enough?

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