Adopting a New Mindset:: Supporting Educators

After years of paperwork, home studies, and tears, it finally happened—we adopted! But not the way we had imagined. We chose to adopt a lovely teacher at a local Katy elementary campus who is a fellow foster mom. We followed suit as hundreds in the community circled educators and embraced them during a time that is quite uncertain for all involved.

Facing Reality

March gave families a new appreciation for teachers everywhere. Wine glasses were filled to the brim as we came to terms with the reality that we would not be returning to classrooms for the rest of the year. For many, they simply left for Spring Break and never returned.

Memes flooded the internet with humorous but real sentiments:: “You lied. My child is not a joy to have in class.” “What’s the number to the substitute?” “If schools remain closed, parents are going to find a vaccine before scientists.”

While parents scrambled to suddenly handle virtual learning while juggling work, a pandemic, and the emotional stress, it wasn’t a picnic for educators either.

Memory Loss

Suddenly preparing lessons that could be digested virtually was challenging. Connecting with students via technology while helpful, was not altogether easy—especially depending on age level. Dedicated educators who pictured end-of-year celebrations and milestone ceremonies were slammed with an alternate reality. They had to make drastic changes to their current teaching style and lessons to accommodate a virtual environment—many of whom had children themselves who were also now at home and needing assistance with online education.

Still, by the time summer rolled around, some community members suffered from short-term memory loss. The offer to pay teachers millions of dollars to teach their children again {albeit in jest} took a rather biting turn. The comments were as widespread as COVID map dots—and nearly as jarring:

They are bound and determined to take away all parent choice.

Glad that the water park and zoo can be open but god forbid our kids go to school.

Does the district plan to reduce the tax burden for homeowners with elementary-age children?

Pay my internet and give me my taxes back!

Virtual education does not demand {the} same size of staff as any in-person education. {Is the} ISD ready for staff cuts?

The screaming Karens of the world have won. How disgusting.

You failed to be a leader.

 And on and on…for pages. Hundreds or thousands of comments no matter what any district posted. I watched as teacher friends reeled unsure of how to mentally combat the backlash. But, a beacon of light was around the corner.

Adopting Educators

Enter Adopt-a-Teacher. A Facebook phenomenon where teachers could post images and information about themselves and community members could “adopt” them. Katy alone is already over 9,000 members strong.

Overturning some of the negativity around the {very controversial} return to school or homeschool debate, people simply started supporting one another. There were stories upon stories of teachers impacting students or retired educators adopting their former students. The communities rallied around their educators in the most heartwarming display of gratitude and appreciation.

While gifts ranged from supplies or sanitizer to homemade meals, it was obvious that the confidence boost was rooted from genuine support and encouragement.

Spread Support

The bottom line really coming to this:: quit pecking at each other like a murder of crows. Nothing about adjusting to COVID has been sublime, but tearing at other moms—and educators—will do you no good. Find a way to channel that anxious energy into something beneficial, something supportive—something that you won’t see in Facebook memories a year from now and wish you could crawl under a rock.

Let’s all agree that we’re in this whole mess together and doing the best we can to figure it out. Whether you choose to attend school in person, homeschool, or disappear into the woods and feed your family on nuts and berries while you sew animal skins together…good for you! Feel supported, feel loved. {And pass it on.} 

Get Involved!

Fort Bend ISD
Crosby ISD
Cy-Fair ISD
Houston ISD
Lamar ISD
Katy ISD
Spring ISD
Tomball ISD

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Kirsten C. was born and raised in Texas Hill Country. After becoming a hopelessly devoted Bobcat and earning a degree in Mass Communications-Public Relations at Texas State University, she was wooed by the never-ending culinary options and vibrant street art of Houston and became a transplant. By day she is a marketing enthusiast for a downtown engineering firm, and by night, an over-the-top {and unashamed} dog mom. She and her husband William are licensed foster parents—advocating for children and families—who hope to one day grow their family through adoption. You can follow their unruly journey on their blog, Cornell Chaos. When she’s not trying a new restaurant, playing behind the lens of a Cannon, piddling in the yard, or scouring markets for hidden gems, Kirsten is often found teaching student ministry through Kingsland Baptist Church or escaping at a local coffee spot.


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