If your students can’t hear you correct their grammar, are you even teaching? Being away from our students has been a rude awakening, and we’re feeling all kinds of emotions. So, we asked the teachers in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook to share their messages to students during COVID-19 school closures. Here’s what they said:
#1 You matter, and we miss you
Out of the hundreds of teachers who told us what they wanted students to know, 100% started by saying they miss them. We love our students like our own children and this separation is painful.
“That I am thinking of them and missing them daily. The memories of their smiles, stories, and antics bring me joy in rough times. That I will do my best to continue to support them and their families as we wade through uncharted territory. That I love them 💗” —Michelle T.
“I miss them. That is all. I just really miss them.” —Cory L.
“I hope you are all safe and healthy. I miss each and every one of the kids in the pre-school, Pre-K, and kindergarten classes where I work. You bring me more joy and happiness than any of you can imagine, and I hope we are together again soon.” —Justin M.
#2 Stay safe
The whole purpose of this quarantine time is to keep as many of us safe and healthy as possible. So teachers want students to know that they should stay home and stay safe so that everything can return to normal as quickly as possible.
“School is important but so is your health. Take care of yourself and each other (from a safe distance of course). And, no matter what happens this year, be proud of yourself, your resilience, and your ability to adapt to extreme circumstances. I am proud of each and every one of you.” —Tressa S.
#3 Be kind to your family
We know being home (in sometimes tight quarters) is tough on everyone, so now is the time to dig deep and be kind. Be kind to your little brother and your older sister. Help them understand the technology they might need for school. Set the table and do the dishes.
“I miss the opportunity to be with you and learn together. While we are apart, learn with your family—learn some family history with a photo album, go on a nature hike and appreciate the world outside together, read with a family member.” —Kristen W.
#4 Investigate your own interests
Being home means school time is a lot shorter. Teachers hope students take the time to figure out what they love and find out more about it.
“I hope they are still having fun and being silly despite the craziness going on in our outside world. I hope they are learning new things even if it’s not me teaching it to them.” —Laura D.
#5 Get creative
One of the best ways to relieve stress and discover what matters to you is to get creative. Teachers hope students create art in any way that matters to them.
“Make some art. Any art. Even if it’s just a pen and lined paper. Glue/tape recycled things together to make a sculpture. Bake cookies and decorate them. Build a snow sculpture. Work through the stress by creating.” —Amber D.
#6 Go outside every day
One of the best, safe activities for kids to do is get outside and play or exercise. So teachers hope that students are doing this every single day. Take a walk. Kick a ball around. Walk the dog. Just get outside.
“I want every one of my kids to get outside and look at how beautiful our world is. Walk slowly through your neighborhood or in your backyard and discover what Spring looks like.” —Cindy K.
#7 Find ways to make a difference
It’s easy to feel helpless in situations like this, but we can make small differences. Teachers hope kids will create We will get through this signs for their windows. We’re hoping students will be supportive and kind to each other remotely as well.
“I hope you lift people up. Please call or text someone (a friend, your grandparent, or a cousin) to say hi. Knowing people are out there thinking of them can make all the difference in the world.” —Shannon S.
#8 We’ll be here when you get back
Teachers everywhere want students to know that they haven’t gone anywhere. They are merely waiting in the wings until it’s safe enough to be back in the classroom. Students are our purpose, so we feel a little lost without them.
“I’m here for them. This too shall pass. And we will pick up right where we left off!!!” —Jen O.
Besides saying they miss their students, nearly every teacher used the word love in their response. We teachers feel a love for students that’s hard for other people to imagine. They become our families each year and we love them fiercely, even when they can’t follow through or act out or don’t do the work. We love them.
We’d love to share your messages to students during COVID-19 school closures. Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, how the pandemic shows us that schools are more important than ever.