Teachers: The Way Home Is Through Baghdad

Laura D. Brown
2 min readJan 4, 2021

That holiday break we recently finished was not a vacation. It was only a breath, a moment of pause in a pandemic. Sure, many of us rested but how many educators feel refreshed and ready to return?

This piece is not about toxic positivity. No one has the patience for phrases like, “You got this!” or “We are all in this together!” Instead, my message is this: the way home is through Baghdad. The next months might be the most frustrating and demanding of the 2020–2021 school year.

I do not intend to insult any military veteran’s experience. Still, I wonder if this is how soldiers feel when they have survived previous battles only to await the next one? Does the feeling manifest as waves of nausea, like when a stomach bug is brewing? Does the military train recruits on managing fatigue? How does one muster the resolve needed to march on? Ten months into our invisible war with this virus, medical personnel are overwhelmed, first responders are getting sick, and hospitals are at capacity. No one has any extra to give. The virus is victorious, killing over 350,000 Americans; it changes tactics with each mutation. Hopefully, we will win the war.

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