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Educators push back against online teacher shaming

Teachers finding themselves the target
School
Posted at 5:39 PM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 18:29:11-04

Piling on during a pandemic — teachers say they are being targeted while facing the added pressure of starting a new school year remotely.

"It's hurtful and we take it personally," said Tracy Wheeler, Berea City Schools Superintendent.

Many are now coming across comments and posts shaming educators on social media.

"Teachers aren't doing enough work, they should get paid because they're doing our work," said Carrie Rice, Berea Midpark High School math teacher.

After a spring full of thanks and appreciation from parents who got a crash course in educating children, this about-face is adding to an already stressful situation.

“There is quite a misperception," said Nick Doehr, Berea Midpark Middle School intervention specialist.

Just a few months after receiving praise, educators are reading comments online that they're being lazy or treating their time without children in the classroom as an extended summer vacation.

“There’s a lot of hours going into preparing. There’s this thought and perception out there that we don’t want our kids in school, but we very much do," said Doehr.

Doehr said overall frustration about the pandemic is fueling the flames.

“It’s completely understandable," said Doehr.

But instead of targeting teachers, Doehr wants parents and people in the community to hit the pause button.

“That’s really what we need right now is some grace, understanding and empathy as we are all living in a really challenging time," said Doehr.

Rice would like that frustration redirected.

“It’s being taken out on maybe the people that it shouldn’t be taken out on," said Rice.

Rice said her family, friends and neighbors have been supportive and know the struggles.

“Social media, on the other hand, has been many times the opposite," said Rice.

Rice said the last few months have been anything but a vacation as she and her colleagues scramble to make remote education as successful as possible.

“We have been working hard this summer, and especially the past few weeks. Probably harder than we’ve ever worked before," said Rice.

Berea City Schools Superintendent Tracy Wheeler is instructing her staff to try and ignore the negative comments.

“They’re not at home on a vacation," said Wheeler.

Also, she does not want teachers engaging with those who post them.

“We’re not who you think we are, and you’ve got to give us a chance to do it the right way," said Wheeler.

At the end of the day, these educators said they are on the same page as frustrated parents.

“Families, we want your kids back in the classroom just as much as you do," said Doehr.