Overwhelmed

Stay home.

Check.

Stay safe.

Check.

Wash your hands.

Check.

Use hand sanitizer.

Check.

Sanitize home.

Check.

Maintain the dog’s health and welfare.

Check.

Enough food.

Check.

Toilet paper.

Check.

Paying bills.

Check.

Working.

Working.

Working.

Working.

Yes. I’m a teacher. I’m working online. Most of my students are responding. Some are not. I am worried because although I am working, I’m not really doing my job if most of my students are not showing up. I can become a call center and call the homes of my students and talk to their parents, but I don’t know what is happening in their homes. Perhaps their parents are not working, and the household is a bit intense. I can add to that intensity by telling them, “Uh, your son/daughter is not submitting their assignments.” They can either yell at me that it doesn’t matter, or they can get angry at their child, and more intensity is raised in that household. It is a difficult time, but I do not need to tell you that.

I am an instructor at a community college for adult education too. These are adults who do not have a high school diploma, and most likely, they were probably fired from their jobs. I’ve sent encouraging emails and even called them. I have only two to three students out of 15 who are consistently responding. I don’t know what else to do. My hands are tied, and my heart is full – I want them to meet and engage in learning and not give up their dream of obtaining their high school diploma. But their silence is overwhelming for me; it frightens me. I want them to be okay.

Some people may say to me, “Well, Lisa, at least you have a job, and you’re getting paid! Some people don’t have a job anymore! You’re blessed!”

Yes, I am. But, under these circumstances, It doesn’t feel authentic if I’m not reaching all of my students! I’m concerned about all of them – from the teenage students to my adult students! I care deeply about their welfare; it is hard to go online and work on assignments when some severe matters are happening around you. I can understand that…I am not far removed from compassion.

So…

Working.

I’m trying.

Author: L.S. Watson

Hi. My name is L.S. Watson, and I'm an English teacher at a charter high school. I enjoy traveling (my favorite places are Rome and Paris), writing poetry, and watching documentaries. I have a lovable yet stubborn Yorkie-Poo named Chuy.

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