Pandemic Teaching is the Hardest Thing Teachers Have Done

Teachers across social media are sharing just how hard this really is.

Still of quotes from teachers who are overwhelmed by pandemic teaching

Whether you love social media (#teachersofinstagram!), you hate it, or you are just plain sick of all the noise, teachers are using social channels to share the toll that pandemic teaching is taking. In the hardest year of our professional lives, sharing our vulnerability and keeping it real is the best way we can support each other. Teachers are often optimists, skilled at putting on a happy face, rolling up their sleeves, and soldering on. But at what cost? Thank you to all the teachers who are speaking up, sharing their experiences, and letting us all know that we aren’t the only ones who don’t know how much more we can take.

“Today I wanted to scream, cry, run, and hide all in the same moment”

Teaching in teal tank top crying about teaching in pandemic

It feels like we experience so many different emotions every day. One minute we think, “I’m doing ok,” and the next we are in tears. If you think you are the only one feeling all the feels, know that you aren’t alone. Pandemic teaching is an emotional rollercoaster.


“How we will survive a year like this?”

This is hard for us. It’s hard for our kids. It’s exhausting, and so many of us feel like we are failing miserably. You’re showing up. You’re doing the work. At the end of the day, you’re trying your best, and while it may not feel like that’s enough, it is.

“It’s OK to not be OK all the time”

Teacher wearing brown shirt in classroom cries about pandemic

So many of us are Type A. We are perfectionists who are really hard on ourselves. Thanks for the reminder. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to laugh, laugh. Take the nap if you need it. There’s no roadmap for pandemic teaching. You do you.

Source: @_thecreativecactus

“We are humans. We can only do so much”

Black and white photo of teacher with text overlay about pandemic teaching

It’s hard to work 24/7 and still feel like you aren’t doing enough. Everyone seems to have an opinion about how teachers should do their jobs right now. Unless you’ve taught in a classroom, your feedback isn’t helpful! If you feel like you are at your wit’s end with pandemic teaching, know that you’re not the only one.

Source: @missfairchildcreates

“I’m tired of having to defend my profession”

Teacher wearing red shirt in classroom frustrated over pandemic

Yes, to all of this! Teaching is a job. We shouldn’t expect teachers to go above and beyond at the expense of their own health and well-being. And if you still love teaching but feel powerless right now and want change, we do too.

Source: @whatmrs.harperisreading

“I am struggling”

Teacher shares post about feeling overwhelmed during pandemic

We couldn’t agree more. At first, teachers were called heroes as we scrambled to teach online. Then, we were asked to teach students in person and online at the same time. The anxiety of not knowing what we will be asked to do next is crushing.

Source: @maniacsinthemiddle

“I feel like I am failing”

It’s heartbreaking when we are asked to do things that aren’t best for us or our kids. How can we test students on something that they haven’t learned? Why are we treating this school year is if it is normal when it is anything but? Pandemic teaching isn’t normal teaching.

“My heart is so heavy”

Teacher at home in log cabin has heavy heart over pandemic

At first, we thought this is hard, but we can manage for a while. Now, we are thinking, will this ever end? We are grieving, and we are going through all of the stages. Sometimes we are angry. Sometimes we are in denial. But always, we just want to give our kids the answers that they deserve.

Source: @thebetterteacherproject

“I’m exhausted. That’s all.”

Teacher holding handwritten words of encouragement about teaching in a pandemic

We are tired. We are working harder than ever. It’s so easy to beat ourselves up. That’s why it is so important for us to talk about how we are feeling. It’s amazing how much better we feel when we tell the truth: pandemic teaching is hard.

Source: @discountsforteachers

“The lunch I don’t have time to eat”

Teacher wearing hat sitting in car exhausted from pandemic teaching

Yup. This is teaching in 2020. We are stressed, pressed for time, and consider ourselves lucky if we manage to actually eat lunch let alone wash our hair! I don’t know what I’d do without dry shampoo.

Source: @antisocstudies

“Last week I felt as if I was drowning”

Teacher's desk during a pandemic covered in papers

Piles of papers. A messy desk. Thank you for keeping it real, and reminding us to listen to our bodies. It’s easier said than done, but we have to take care of ourselves.

Source: @sarah.morehead

“A new kind of teacher tired”

Teacher with eyes closed is exhausted from pandemic teaching

Teaching in an entirely new way with entirely new tools during an unprecedented global pandemic is physically and mentally exhausting. If you are going to sleep at 8:00 on a Saturday, us too!

Source: @justasksiiri

Social media is usually a highlight reel. We share pictures of our beautiful classroom, our well-organized planner pages, and our successful assignments. While I love getting ideas from other teachers on social, this year what we need most is what’s usually not pictured: teachers getting real about pandemic teaching is the hardest thing they’ve done. When we share our vulnerability with each other, it helps us feel less alone.

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Plus, check out Check In On Your Teacher Friends, Because We Are Not OK.

Pandemic Teaching Is The Hardest Thing We’ve Ever Done