A high school English teacher is urging parents to give educators grace as the pandemic drags on.
In an eye-opening TikTok video, Toledo, Ohio, educator Katie Peters listed what what she did in a single day — outside the classroom. Peters said she didn't make the clip because she wanted a pat on the back. She created it to show what teachers across the country are doing on a daily basis, all while dealing with their own COVID fatigue.
“I helped a young man find safe housing,” Peters began. “I found a winter coat for a girl who didn’t have one.”
Peters secured food for a child to take home over the weekend, and comforted a young man who was dealing with his first heartbreak. She subbed during her free period, and wrote a college letter of recommendation on a moment's notice. She gave a student money to help pay for a haircut.
When Peters finally got home, she spent four hours planning lessons, which she noted, “could, at the drop of a hat, need to go virtual.”
“I want you to know in your child’s school, 30 to 50 teachers and support staff did that today,” she revealed. “And we’ll do it again tomorrow.”
Peters said she's noticed an uptick of ugly comments directed at teachers in online community forums.
“I see the education system as a machine, and our community is like an important cog in the machine. So when one cog is broken and either spouting off misinformation or negative talk, the other systems in the machine falter,” Peters told TODAY Parents. “Teachers read those comments and then they enter the classroom feeling defeated — and therefore they aren’t 100% present in the way they want to be for their students.”
“I’m not sure how much people realize that their words carry over into our ability to care for their children,” Peters added. “We need you to hold space for us and understand that we are doing our best given the circumstances.”
Peter's TikTok video has more than 2.4 million views. One person wrote in the comments: "My wife is a teacher. Watching her work through the pandemic showed me that your profession is the most underpaid, unappreciated job in America."
Added another, "Mandatory new law idea: parents become the substitutes for two weeks. Just like jury duty. They have to sub in their child’s school."