Nickalas Lembo

Substitute teacher George Padgett covers for English teacher Dejanae Sharp while she is absent on May 2.

Appreciate teachers who go above, beyond during pandemic

May 2, 2022

After missing a week and a half of school due to testing positive for COVID-19, I was back and ready to catch up with my friends in late January. Throughout the day, I began to notice that I didn’t see some of the teachers on campus. 

For the next month, I began to see teachers using their free periods instead of grading and substituting classes for different teachers who were out with COVID-19 or were in close contact with someone who had COVID-19. Due to staff shortages and the pandemic, teachers across the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) have had to cover for vacant positions and absent teachers

When I was out, my teachers posted all of the work that I needed to do to stay caught up. This was the case with all students. Teachers made sure that students were doing their best to keep up with the rest of the class so that they wouldn’t fall behind. My teachers posted the agenda for the day along with any assignments that I could do from home. This gave teachers extra work, yet they did it.

Due to the pandemic, many teachers have resigned. Based on a survey conducted by Horace Mann Educators Corporation, out of 1,240 educators from K-12 public schools, 60% of educators enjoy their job less than they did a year ago. 

Teachers not being able to enjoy their jobs anymore is upsetting, since teachers are the ones who teach the world’s future presidents, doctors and any other professions. For someone to do their job well, they must enjoy doing their job. I have seen two types of teachers during my time as a student in LAUSD. There’s the teacher who is only there for a paycheck and the teacher who loves their job. The teachers who love their job teach because they love to teach and do it not for just the money. Only two of the 20-some teachers I’ve had show up for their paycheck. The rest of my teachers love working with their students and try everything in their power to make sure that their students succeed. 

Based on a survey of 4,655 teachers, which was conducted by Adopt a Classroom, 81% of teachers feel that the workload has increased and 78% of teachers feel that there has been a major learning loss with their students. I feel that during the pandemic, I lost a major amount of learning. Even though I feel this way, I saw my teachers trying their best to make sure we were passing the class with a C or better and were getting the lesson. 

There was never a time in which I felt that teachers weren’t trying to help their students. When I sent an email to a teacher, they responded as fast as they could. Sometimes, it took a while but I knew that there were more students like me emailing the teacher at the same time. 

Teachers should be appreciated for all that they do. They are the ones who educate future heroes and leaders. Teacher Appreciation Week is this week, so all students should at least say thank you to their teachers. Over the pandemic, they worked hard to keep students caught up.

Teachers work long days to make sure that their students succeed. Now that we are back in person, they are making sure that their students will pass their class.

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