Image for 'To the Teacher…'

To the Teacher…

Read the perspective of a special education teacher to direct you to pray for teachers during COVID-19. By Jessica Bamford

To A Teacher, From A Teacher

It was 9:01 a.m. on Monday, March 23rd when I received an alert from the principal requesting staff to come to the school building and gather essential items. Before admitted into the building, we needed to register for a time slot that allowed no more than 10 people in at a time. Once completed, we were requested to fill out a form stating that we exhibited no symptoms similar to COVID-19 (if you answered yes to any of the questions you were denied entry). After a brief text exchange with two of my coworkers, we agreed to arrive at 1:30.

Walking into my classroom that afternoon, it was clear that I had no suspicions that Thursday, March 12th would have been my last day of classroom teaching for the remainder of the school year. On my desk were assessments waiting to be graded. On student desks were materials and personal items that they had left behind. A coworker’s water bottle sat unopened on the table. Pencils, markers and highlighters were waiting to be placed back into their designated spots. I gathered my things, reorganized my classroom and chatted with my two coworkers. We talked about how surreal this all seemed and how much we missed our students, all while maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet (I was literally walking across the room each time my coworker moved near me to get something!). Eventually we walked out to our cars, said our goodbyes and wished each other good luck.

On the way home I was able to listen to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s COVID-19 response, knowing that his speech would include a decision about Virginia schools. I had been in my car no more than five minutes when I heard the announcement that all Virginia schools would be closed the remainder of the year. I didn’t cry. I didn’t laugh. I didn’t really do anything other than process this news. Schools closed for the rest of the year. It was late March. In Virginia, schools close after the second week of June. We hadn’t even finished the third quarter.

Later that day and the next few days, I walked around as if everything was okay. It was similar to the stages of grief, and I was in the stage of denial. Everything will be fine. My students will be fine. My own two preschool-aged kids who are no longer going to school will be fine! That Thursday morning, I attended a virtual faculty meeting and by Thursday afternoon I began thinking that maybe everything was not going to be fine.

I was burdening myself with unanswered questions:

How can I implement distance learning with students with severe disabilities?

How can I teach and attend virtual IEP meetings?

What in the world am I going to do with my own two kids?

Will I need to leave my virtual classroom to change a dirty diaper?

How can I juggle being a teacher, a mother, a wife and a runner (if you know me, you should know I had to throw that in there!) and still have time for rest?

Unfortunately, I don’t have answers to these questions right now. It’s possible that I won’t ever have answers to some of them. There is so much in my life that I have no control over. And it’s hard. It’s so stinking hard!

But thankfully, we serve a God who is in control. He will take care of me. He will take care of my family. He will take care of my students. He will take care of all of us. For those of you who are like me and need a reminder of who the God we serve is, read the following verses below. May they bring you comfort and peace with whatever it is you’re facing during this time.

Download our PDF of three takeaways from this article to share with your friends and family.

Have you read other articles in this series? Titles include “To The Student…”, “To The High School/College Senior…”, “To The Fearful…”, “To The Onlooker…”, “To the Parent…” and “To the Disheartened…”, and “To the Unemployed…”

Look out for “To the Teacher…” by a fellow teacher coming to you early next week!


Jessica Bamford is a special education teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. She is a wife, mother of two and a wannabe runner. You might catch her at a stoplight dancing in her coveted minivan.

You May Also Like