SCHOOL DISTRICT: As this school year comes to a close, we would like to thank you for all the hard work you put in over the course of this truly unprecedented year. Your perseverance and willingness to go the extra mile for your students have not gone unnoticed. To that end, we would like to hear from you. Please let us know what we can do to improve your lives as the school year draws to a close!

TEACHERS: Thanks. It’s nice to get some positive feedback.

SCHOOL DISTRICT: You’re welcome!

TEACHERS: Yeah, well, this year has been completely exhausting. We’ve all pretty much had to make everything up from scratch, and—

SCHOOL DISTRICT: Great, got it, summer lesson-planning professional development is added to your calendar. We’ll make it four days, so you can really dig in and come into next school year ready to rock!

TEACHERS: No, no. That’s not what we mean. We’re tired. Really tired because we’ve been working beyond our normal hours even more than usual. Which, you know, we’ve all seen the studies about unpaid teacher overtime, even if some of us pretend they don’t exist.

SCHOOL DISTRICT: Got it, got it! We’ll also add a session about streamlining your workload and time management. That shouldn’t take more than two or three days. Have to be efficient with our time after all!

TEACHERS: No. GOD, NO. Will you… Can we just finish a sentence? We are tired, is what we’re trying to say. Exhausted. Many of us have had COVID. Some of us died. Many of us had friends and family members and colleagues who died. And we are tired. And we know, next year, that we’re going to come back to kids who are so far behind where they would have been and—

SCHOOL DISTRICT: Oh goodness, you are so right. Always thinking of the kids. You have such good hearts! We will schedule some summer sessions on how to accelerate learning and also draft some of you to teach additional catch-up sessions to any kids wishing to sign up.

TEACHERS: No. No. No. No. We know how to do our jobs. We know what we’re doing. Next year will be hard, but we can do it. We just need a chance to rest. That’s all we want.

SCHOOL DISTRICT: You are so right, again! So, so, so right. Let’s take a look… Yes, the summer calendar is pretty full with all these professional development sessions you’ve requested, but look at that, there’s a long weekend at the beginning of July. You should get out of town. Lesson-plan from a cabin in the woods!

TEACHERS: [Look up retirement paperwork. Consider going back to school. Consider moving back in with parents. Remember a friend with a landscaping business who’s always looking for extra help.]