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Exhausted and Grieving: Teaching During the Coronavirus Crisis

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Stress isn’t new to teachers, but what they’re experiencing now makes their typical stress seem like a picnic. Driven by a pandemic to the front lines of an unprecedented rush to distance-learning, the nation’s teachers are scrambling to manage an armful of new challenges. And they’re exhausted.

That exhaustion emerges from a tangle of dynamics. Teachers are grappling with unfamiliar technologies. They have to retrofit—or reinvent—their lessons and find new ways to do familiar things, like grading homework. They’re inundated with emails, texts, and calls from principals, parents, and students. They’re trying to “be there” for students and their families. And many are also juggling the needs of their own children or other loved ones while managing their own coronavirus fears. 

Amy Pollington, a kindergarten teacher at Saint George School, a private K-8 in Seattle, didn’t mince words when she described her first week of distance-teaching.

“By the fourth day, I started to have a panic attack,” she said. “I hadn’t slept. I was feeling like the walls were coming in on me.”

 

 

 

-By Catherine Gewertz, Education Week

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