by Jenna Ranney, Content Manager
Fall 2020 has been a crazy time to be a student. Especially for those of us in college, continuing to pay absurd tuition rates with only limited access to our usual student life has left many of us incredibly frustrated. I’ve taken classes in hallways, waited months for feedback on an assignment, and eaten one too many lukewarm dinners of dining hall chicken. With such a challenging semester being so isolating as well, it’s easy to feel like we’re alone in these struggles. And when your teachers are the ones directly on the other end of this, it’s easy to blame them when things go wrong. I can’t lie, I’ve gotten annoyed with some teachers over missing lectures or ungraded assignments this semester. But what none of us see - what I didn’t see until this weekend - is everything that really goes into teaching during a pandemic.
For the first time this weekend, I saw my mom in action. I watched her bend over backwards to help her students learn, grow, connect with each other, and have fun doing it. I woke up to the sound of the “Good Morning” song and ate my lunch with a charming alphabet jingle in the background. I could hear her reading stories to her students from my Statistics lecture. The dance party they had in the middle of the day made me want to get up and dance in the middle of my Pharmacology review session. From breaking out her “teacher voice,” to dancing and singing songs, to uncanny Elmo impressions - all of which would’ve been hilarious to watch a year ago - her dedication to these kids just filled me with the most joy.
Even though she’s teaching online, the energy and enthusiasm she brought to her class spread through our whole house. I couldn’t even be annoyed about the distracting sounds interrupting my homework time, because it just made me so happy to hear. The symphony of little voices coming from her computer was proof to me that, even with all the bad and ugly things happening in the world this year, there are always ways to make a bad situation work. Despite a million hurdles, my mom is still finding ways to help her kids learn - and they are!
So to my professors, even the ones who haven’t graded month-old papers or uploaded blank slides without audio 3 days before a test, I see you. I can’t imagine what teaching college is like right now, but you’re doing everything you can, and I appreciate it. I can’t pretend I haven’t gotten frustrated these past few months, but this weekend was the perfect reminder that this semester is just as challenging for our educators as it is for us. So thank you, to teachers and administrators everywhere. Thanks for making the most out of a situation in which you’ve been given the least.