Why We Appreciate Teachers and Why Teachers Appreciate Teaching
"This crisis has proved what we knew already: Teachers are driven by a mission to make our children not just smart, but also good-hearted."
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"What I miss most about in person teaching is approaching my students more effortlessly when they require assistance or guidance. It’s easy to take for granted a teenager’s ability to communicate. Students say a lot through their body language—just on an academic level, they put their head down because they’re disengaged, scrunch their faces if they’re confused, or raise their hand when they have a question. Body language cues offer more opportunities for communication because there is more for me to hone in on and offer whatever help they may need. Online learning is asking a teenager to advocate for themselves and expecting them to communicate things that normally in person we can pick up on by their behavior. It’s more challenging to observe virtually if a student is struggling to complete work for reasons outside of school or simply because they need a voice to clarify instruction. Ultimately, we are able to reach students through calling home, nagging over email and occasionally hunting down a personal cellphone line, but it doesn’t have the same impact and competence as it does in person." — Ms. Tecsy, secondary school Spanish teacher in Brooklyn
“I miss the interactions with the kids… the breaking of each other's chops.. Being part of their lives… and Sopranos deli in Merrick.” —Bill Wickes, geometry teacher at Roosevelt High School
“I miss when a coworker would randomly bake and leave treats in my office. I miss seeing the smiles on my students’ faces. I miss going off script and creating teachable moments. I miss seeing the students interact with each other and watching friendships form. I miss seeing the lightbulb go off when a student understood something. I miss being the person my students would go to if they need help or someone to talk to. I miss when a student would accidentally call me mom. And I miss being told ‘good morning’ 20+ times a day everyday.” — Brooke Poznak, classroom teacher/ special education P094M @ PS281 The Spectrum School
“Teaching students with autism, a lot of our time is spent developing social skills. I miss supporting my students in engaging with their peers, a skill they were making great progress on in the real classroom.” —Laurelle Evangelista, special education teacher, P255Q, Queens
“I miss the energy of teenagers, from running in the halls to get to class on time, to the laughter in the cafeteria, to the sleepy smiles 1st period, to the TikTok dance challenges all day long, to the overall enthusiasm our students have for their school.” —Julia Roldan, ENL teacher at New Hyde Park Memorial High School
"I miss those moments when a concept finally clicks and a student is able to confidently move to the next challenge. On a personal level, this is a time of year that students are finding out about college acceptances and sharing their good news with you. I miss feeling that somehow I had a hand in their attainment of that goal. As for the daily routine, I do miss the humorous give and take."—Leonard Randazzo, precalculus and statistics teacher at Roosevelt High School
“Over these past few months there is plenty I miss about being in school with the kids. I miss seeing peer on peer action as the children work together collaboratively with each other and I can step back and watch their creativity unfold. I also really miss how nurturing we are in the classroom and watching the children light up with smiles and amazement as they discover the world.” —Eric, nursery school teacher at Shaaray Tefila Nursery School
“There’s so much I miss, where do I begin? I miss the social interactions—saying good morning, smiling and waving at students I have, students I’ve had before, and ones I’ve never had. I miss knowing that someone needs extra support on any given day by a simple expression on their face. I miss giving them that support that they didn’t even know they needed. I miss eye rolls when I say something cheesy and groans when I say ‘take out your notebooks.’ I miss celebrations for any and ALL reasons.” —Julia Cashman, AP calculus teacher, The Wheatley School
"I miss our dance parties. We would have a dance party every day, whether it was random or planned, and it was this beautiful time of expression. I almost cried on that last day of school in March, just watching all those five year olds move and groove and not knowing when I would get to dance with them in person again. For now, virtual dance parties are a must!"—Danielle, kindergarten teacher at PS158
"I miss the laughter, hugs, smiles and getting to watch the light bulbs spark as students each have their 'aha!' moments!" - Suzana Fernandes Silva, first grade teacher