The Teachers Said:: Thoughts from Vacant Classrooms and Harried Hearts

The Teachers Said:: Thoughts from Vacant Classrooms and Harried HeartsVoids

It seems like it should be. But it’s not. The classrooms are empty. The playgrounds are still. There are no car rider lines. No Tuesday folders. Almost like summer vacation. And yet not at all like summer vacation. The untethered freedom that usually accompanies these voids… is yet another void. The teachers. The same ones that run happily and haphazardly out of school buildings every May. Grinning from ear to ear. Those teachers are grieving. And they have a lot on their minds as this school year comes to an unquestionablyunexpected end.

Want to know what teachers are really thinking right now? Here is a tiny glimpse.


I am working hard at creating great online learning experiences for kids, but what I really want to do is hug them and make sure they have food in their bellies and that they aren’t scared or depressed. I guess the best thing in the world right now would be to hear from them and to know they were missing me as much as I am missing them. – Annie B.

I miss my kids. I really do. I know how much they need the structure of school even if they don’t admit it. I worry about the ones that have yet to show any signs of life. – Maria G.

We just want the kids to be healthy and happy. So I just tell my kids and parents – do what you can. I am here for you. – Debby A.

My heart is broken for my seniors whose last year will forever be tarnished by this outbreak. They will never get their prom or senior activities back. Their final dance performances were canceled. We never got to finish their solos. Some of my kids will never dance or cheer again. – Damian R.

It’s been tough to say the least, becoming more creative, more resourceful to engage students. staying up nights thinking of ways to make sure my students are getting the help they need. – Sheeba G.

Most teachers are parents too and so we are empathetic to the struggle of the new normal. – Krystal D.

I had unfinished business and then the virus happened. We were scheduled to go on a grade level event to iFly and I had planned a fifth grade send off week. I’m truly saddened by this turn of events. – Doniel W.

We need your kids just as much as they need us. We worry the most about our kids where school is the best part of their day. We lose sleep over those kids. We worry that what we are doing behind the screen isn’t enough and are we failing them? I laugh when the education system wants teachers to push technology so much and here it is. But all the kids want is each other and a teacher. – Amy S.

I miss my kids. My students are my kids. I feel lost without being there for them. – Lisa M.

We are more focused on their well-being now than when we had to be more focused on meeting deadlines, raising test scores and teaching to a test. – Delonda F.

WE MISS OUR KIDS! The day to day interaction with our students was what keeps us going. We miss that a lot. The preparation for online learning is A LOT of work and it’s very awkward. We are doing our best. – Kim L.

I HATE not being able to see my students. It’s miserable. – Kelly L.

The part I think that makes me the most sad is that we had no closure. I told them to have a great spring break – back on March 6  – having no idea that was our last time in the classroom together. I didn’t even get to give them a proper goodbye. We got to go into the school last week for  30 minutes to grab what we think we might need. Talk about tears. Seeing the kids’ desks still full of their hings, their work displayed in the hallway… that sucked hard. Walking out of the building was the hardest thing I’ve done in a long time I cried the whole rest of the day. – Elise G.


You see… this is not how it was supposed to be. This is now how it was supposed to end. You might want to check on your teacher friends. They are not okay.

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Joi was born and raised in San Antonio. After a brief pit stop at the University of Texas in Austin, Joi moved to Houston in 1994 and began checking boxes off her never ending to do list. During this time and in no particular order, Joi taught a little bit of everything between first and eighth grades, got married and then divorced, completed grad school, birthed a few babies – Ferris {November 1997}, Warren {December 1999} and Laylah {March 2006}, moved an old lady into her home – Granny {January 1925} started working in Human Resources, served an excessive amount of time (on boards, in booster clubs, team momming) as a crazy sports momma, and learned a lot of life lessons. Joi is known for her unabashed honesty, always present sense of humor and her #TeamTooMuch style of doing everything. On most days, you can find her caught up in her love/hate relationship with politics, feeding her Facebook addiction, or counting the number of days until her last child graduates from high school.


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