For Ally Seago, a mom and teacher, packing up her classroom before the year is truly over feels like a punch to the gut. After taking a photo of herself on a timer while cleaning up, she discovered that her phone took extra photos — including the one above. She then shared her feelings in an emotional Facebook post about just how upsetting the last few months have been.
“A teacher somewhere is packing up their classroom right now, mourning the class they never got to see to the end. The class they won’t get to see graduate. The class they won’t get to enjoy the beautiful spring weather with. The class who will no longer be able to sit and feel the suspense of a mystery read aloud. The class who won’t be able to sign yearbooks and make summer plans with friends.”
She continued, noting how her heart breaks for kids who won’t get any end-of-the-year closure, will miss the support during the summer months, or who simply don’t understand what’s happening in the world right now.
“This hasn’t been easy. Lives have been immeasurably disrupted,” she explained. “Teachers have had to switch gears and create a classroom online and implement lessons in ways they’ve never had to before. Oftentimes spending more hours than they would in a normal workday. Heightened sadness, staggering stress, disenfranchised grief.”
“Packing up a classroom before the year is complete, feels alien. It is sad, it is frustrating, and it is hard.”
While in the middle of cleaning out her student-free classroom, she couldn’t help but be overtaken by emotion. “Stepping into these classrooms is overwhelming,” she wrote. “It’s as if it was frozen in time. Weeks and months gone unchanged. Calendars still set on March, preparing for Spring Break. Projects left unfinished on the counters, crayons and glue sticks half-used, novels bookmarked halfway through, forgotten lunchboxes and coffee mugs; a time capsule.”
Although Ally knows how hard social distancing has been for parents, she wants to remind families that teachers are just as upset about the school year as they are. “As difficult as this is for you, know that teachers are grieving. They chose this profession because they love education and they love children,” Ally wrote. “They’re dealing with a lot of adjustment and stress themselves. Packing up a classroom before the year is complete, feels alien. It is sad, it is frustrating, and it is hard.”