As the virus persisted and spread, teachers saw parents demand educators show up in school buildings, even while many of those same parents were safely working at home. Angry mobs shouted down educators who stood up at school board meetings in metro Atlanta and pleaded for masks in their classrooms.
Teachers faced blame for faulty internet connections and for a lack of expertise in online instruction, something many of them had little to no experience with before March of 2020 upended the country.
Even when the delta variant created a surge of cases this summer and overflowed hospital ICUs, parents insisted they were promised a “normal” 2021-2022 school year, and they were going to have it, no matter the price.
Teachers returned this fall to expectations they would not only address COVID-19-related fears, insecurities and trauma in students but accelerate their classes academically. Somehow, education analysts, philanthropists and advocates decided this was also the perfect moment to call for a reinvention and reimagining of public education.
It should come as no surprise that when asked whether they’d recommend teaching, the answer increasingly is, as one teacher put it: “Absolutely not. No way. Not in a million years.”