Forgotten Heroes


Emma Woody

Since Covid-19 took the world by storm, people have had to change their lives around, whether it’s social distancing when getting together with friends and family or having a crazy school year full of changes. Everyone has felt the repercussions. This past year people have focused more on their mental health. It’s more talked about in the media among celebrities and big organizations but also at schools. Oftentimes, I feel that while we’re making progress in the student area of mental health, teachers themselves get left behind. 

As the daughter of a teacher here at Vista and being surrounded by teachers within my immediate and extended family, I can say with whole hearted honesty that teachers are hit just as hard with the school year changes as students are. I sent out a survey for the teachers asking them about their mental health while remote, during hybrid, and back in person. Of the teachers surveyed, 75%  said that their mental health was worse when fully remote than during a normal year. Teachers thrive off of their students’ responses. I believe that many teachers are empaths, so if students don’t reciprocate their energy, it gets drained quickly. Think of it like when you want to tell your friend about something you’re so excited about and they don’t share their enthusiasm, it’s the same thing when students fail to participate and interact with the teacher in class. Teachers are humans too, and it’s about time their students treat them like it. Staring at a bunch of blank screens on Google Hangouts does nothing for a teacher’s passion. 

While we were in hybrid, 73% of teachers still said their mental health was worse than in a normal year however 7.5% said it was better. This small change of having half the class to teach made a difference for teachers, but with masks and the smaller class sizes, teaching still wasn’t the same. Many teachers who base the success of their teaching off of student reaction. Without being able to see the slightest of smiles, it makes them question themselves. There’s not much people can do about the masks, but teachers need validation as much as students, so maybe the next time you think your teacher is doing something cool, tell them that… trust me it’ll mean the world. 

Since we’ve come back full-remote I’ve heard people talking about how being with everyone in person made them anxious, and they repeatedly expressed their disapproval. While everyone’s emotions are completely valid, before you say anything along the lines of hating school, I want you to remember that even though this is a scary time, teachers are getting back to their normal, too. In fact, 48% of teachers who took the survey said their mental health was better once we came back in full person. The first day back my dad came home beaming about how fun class was that day. From the perspective of a teacher’s kid, I had my dad back, which was really nice. As important as students’ feelings and emotions are, teachers are too, I ask you to try and think about that when you have an opportunity. 

I’m not saying that you should go into class everyday excited and ready to go because we all have our off days, nor am I saying that teachers are more important than students. I’m just asking for people to think about teachers, pleading for people to think about teachers… they are so vital to our community and lives. Don’t let them go overlooked. We need them more than we think.