Letters of Youth


/ 18 September 2020

Dear Co-Students,

I’m going to drop the formalities and go straight-forward with the purpose of this letter: I want to befriend you.

Well then, let me start this off with a simple introduction. Both of my parents are teachers, my mother teaches Science, while my father teaches Math. Unfortunately, I’m just average at either. My performance is not too good enough to brag. And honestly, I dislike both of them – the subjects, not my parents, just to be clear.

However, it’s a “me” problem. I know my teachers did their best to make the subjects likable and exciting enough. It just so happens that these subjects work like a sleeping pill to me, better even. Some of you can probably relate to this as well. Another thing, I’m the type of student who learns and retains better through the first-hand experience, or when a classmate is teaching me. I believe that’s how I effectively add and cement the knowledge in my brain.

So best believe this pandemic, with the online classes and new normal stuff, really exhaust and irks my mind, and my classes haven’t started yet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m chaotically in the process of enrollment. I’m experiencing tough stuff – system malfunctions, reconsideration process, etc. And since my strand is not aligned with my chosen course, I’m studying in advance.

On a different note, I believe a friend is someone you can lean on and ask for help during hard times. So, I want to share something else with you, something personal. It’s about my parents. I always hear their struggles and complaints about everything and nothing at all. I know they are tired and burn-out through their haggard looks, which was only carelessly tamed minutes before webinars, and irritation directed towards us, my sister and I, with no justifiable reason at all.

They’re not adept at dealing with modern technologies and software. Sometimes, when I’m available, they ask for my help. But, more often, they try not to. They’re doing their best to figure stuff on their own, and I commend them for it. Despite that, their stress is apparent. The late breakfasts, half-hearted viands, frequent deep sighs, and dull, taxing ambiance with the amplified voice of whoever unenthusiastic webinar host, filled most of our family’s quarantine days.

And it’s not only about the technology, but it’s also about them trying to adapt and change their style and method to suit a virtual class. In the little time between those webinars, they’re formulating modules and other materials for students who don’t have access to a computer. They stay late at night – organizing students’ files, designing their lesson plans, and brainstorming for ideas to make everything interactive, exciting, unique, and at the same time, easy to understand.

Oh! And it should also cater to all types of students. No matter how discrete they are. It should be engaging since students are probably burn-out and stressed due to the current situation. It should be constructed in a way that answers any possible scenario their students must be in.

Often, I also hear them talking to parents, explaining several times about how things will work. And no matter what time of the day it is, they should also be online. They worry about not being able to answer their students’ questions or inquiries.

They are not prepared for this sudden shift, and I believe no one truly is. Nonetheless, they want the best for their students, for us, for YOU, and they’re doing their greatest to reach that.

So you bet, when haters- yes, haters- said that their salary should be lowered or that they shouldn’t get paid at all, I was furious. Like what the hell is wrong with you people?

Fortunately, at that time, I didn’t become a slave to my anger. I didn’t let it get the best of me. Though I want to shame the shit out of them, I didn’t. They might just not understand. They might not have any teachers or instructors near their vicinity. Because if they do, they wouldn’t dare say those things.

With all this, I believe we now have a connection, no matter how little that may be. So, friend, I am going to be truly honest. The point of this letter is not to get to know me and my frustrations. But if you want to know more, you can message me, just kidding! (or not). The true purpose of this letter is to ask your kind hearts for patience and understanding not only to my parents but to all teachers.

I know you are struggling too. I know you’re also putting more effort and work than before. I know you’re probably at your limit as well. I know, because I am. But am I asking you to worship them? To go over the moon for them? Absolutely, not. There’s only so much I can do, and that’s why I need you. Please be nice, patient, and understanding to all your teachers. Because still, at the end of the day, as Forbes would put it, teachers are education’s first responders. And right now, they also need your help.

Love, Your co-student and a new friend.