Alexa* is an English and International Baccalaureate Program Theatre teacher at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland.
“Before all of this started, my wife and I had been trying to have a third baby… she is newly pregnant in the midst of all of this and having to go in for weekly appointments for maternal fetal medicine because she is high risk. And she is also on a lot of immunocompromising drugs because that is what she has to do to maintain a pregnancy, like when we had our second kid she had to see a specialist and see all of these. So the extra scariness on top of it is that she’s on these things…we’re all trying to be extra vigilant about not bringing anything home. Nobody knows that. When we come out of this it’s gonna be like SURPRISE! So there’s that on top of other stresses.”
*Pseudonym provided by the interviewee.
As a teacher:
“For the first two weeks when we were just on leave it was, I was really depressed. I felt like this, you know, sense of normalcy and everything I had done for the past 13 years was just gone. And it was really like how are we gonna do this. How are we gonna reach all of these students and make sure they have what they need. The teaching part of it has been weird. It’s been okay, but the whole reason that I teach is to be in school and be with students everyday. I feel like I am kind of just going through the motions of putting out the content that the county has been giving us and checking in and making sure everybody’s okay, but I feel really disconnected to the profession and even to the kids right now. Everything is at peak stress levels.”
As a parent:
“My own kids are a lot, [oldest son in first grade] was just recently diagnosed with ADHD and had just gotten his 504 [learning accommodations plan] so he’s a lot. And then [younger son] is like 2, so he’s just like a lot. They’re very cute but between the two of them you’re always on all day. Like my mom, I thrive off of working out of the home because I find my identity mostly in what I do for a living, which is teach, and it’s the thing that makes me feel like I’m not just somebody’s mom. I commend people who stay at home because I could never do it unless forced into it in a situation like this. I love my kids and I try everyday to consciously list off things that I’m grateful for, but you have to give yourself permission and say it’s okay to feel that and also feel sad and kind of grieve over what’s happening.”