By Christine Pitawanich for kgw.com
TIGARD, Ore. — We keep hearing it from teachers all over. Teaching online has not been easy.
We spoke with Scott Herron, the president of the Tigard-Tualatin Education Association. He’s been a teacher for the last 16 years.
He said he wants people to know teachers in his district and elsewhere are trying hard to serve their students, but many feel they’re falling short.
“Teachers are struggling and they’re drowning, and their voices need to be heard,” said Herron.
He said all the stress of online learning is having a negative impact on teachers’ mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
“I’ve had countless teachers tell me they cry driving to work in the morning. They cry […] driving home. Then they see their kids for two hours, put them to bed, and then they work and then they cry themselves to sleep. And then they wake up in the morning and they repeat it,” said Herron.
Teachers in other districts have shared similar stories.
The days are long and weeks feel even longer
Some teachers, Herron said, are working 10 to 12 hours or more a day. They’re also working on the weekends to prepare for the coming week.
“They start at eight in the morning, seven in the morning. They go all day nonstop with kids in the new home environment and then they come home and many of them might have an hour or two where they get the kids fed, get the kids off to bed, then they’re working until midnight.”
There’s so much to do, Herron said. Teachers have to figure out a new way of teaching online, learn to use different educational tools and platforms, troubleshoot technology issues, all while trying their best to serve the needs of their students at a distance. That stress has Herron working to keep teachers motivated through the end of the year.
I’m seriously concerned about losing our workforce. I could easily see a quarter to a third of the teachers at least in my district saying it’s not worth it anymore,” said Herron.
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