Nervous Breakdown

It’s  been  only 3 months  since the beginning of school and I have the impression of having lived at least seven lives. I’ve become old, all of a sudden. Whatever I do, whatever I have been asked to do, turns out to be eventually pointless, useless, frustrating. I feel like a caterpillar which is, despite all its efforts, unable to turn into a butterfly. Yes, I feel like a caterpillar, but I remember I was a butterfly once.

If you are not a teacher, I’m sure you would think I’m being dramatic, but I am otherwise sure that the teachers from all over the world, ALL of them, will understand perfectly how I feel. What turns my hopelessness into anger is what I read daily about Government resolutions regarding school opening  after Christmas holidays: no ideas, no plans, everything left to chance, but one thing  they have clearly in mind: we MUST go back to school anyhow.

Of course, when you spent 3 billion euros in one seater  desks, as the only real strategy to tackle this pandemic season, we MUST go back to school, I understand . That is why, with the intent of pursuing this chimera, despite negative figures, spreading infection rate, despite what common sense would suggest, we have been obliged to experiment teaching  in any condition. If you don’t believe me, give a look at this list.


  • ALL STUDENTS IN. (done) It lasted two weeks. Then we started to notice that teachers and students were going missing as they were put in quarantine. We noticed it; nobody told us. Eventually, I was one of them.
  • ONE CLASS IN THE GYM(done) Since we were running out of classrooms any space had to be used. Being that big, the sound effect is that of a church, with echoes mostly. No problem if you have a stentorian voice. I haven’t.
  • TWO CLASSES IN THE GYM. (done) Some super smart colleague thought clever to use the mike, while the teacher with no stentorian voice was doing all she could to be heard. Blood ran at the end the hour.
  • TWO CLASSES IN THE LECTURE HALL.(done) Just like in the gym , but with no echo and no lesson actually. Try to imagine about 30 kids who are supposed to follow the English class, while other 30 are following the Math class. Blood very likely to run at the end of the hour.
  • OPEN AIR CLASS.(done) A very romantic option. 30 kids under the school portico, with the soundtrack of the barwoman who makes cappuccinos and coffees – God bless her – while pigeons discharge their excrements on desks and floor, if not on kids or teachers.
  • 50% IN AND 50% REMOTE. (done) Most of the time spent on: Can you hear me? Can you see me? While half of the class watches you amused.
  • 25% IN AND 75% REMOTE. (done) Never reached the 25%, as those who were supposed to stay in class knew that they would have been  the privileged target of teachers’ “attentions”.
  • 100% REMOTE FROM HOME. (done) Paradise. How strange that such a despised option in the past might become absolute perfection in the present.
  • 100% REMOTE FROM SCHOOL. (done) But if any student, for any reason, cannot follow lessons from home, can demand to stay at school and so his teachers are, as a matter of fact, banned from paradise, to stay with him. We might also call this option 100% but one.


  • STAGGERED ENTRANCES. Which means starting from 8 in the morning and ending at 8 in the evening.
  • SCHOOL YEAR ENDS IN JULY. I know all those maintaining that teachers  enjoy  long holidays would welcome this option with screams of joy, after all we would look after their children till July, how couldn’t we teachers sympathize with them?

Does it sound like a joke? I’m afraid, it is not.


88 thoughts on “Nervous Breakdown

  1. No shit, this situation just sucks. Luckily teachers are not the only ones who are struggling with this emergency. Indeed staying at home is the best compromise but it can’t last so long, I mean teacher should look at us: we’re in our rooms, stuck on a laptop listening to some subjects maybe we’re not even remotely close to being interested in. We see some teachers going “bla bla bla” for the whole hour and it’s a fact that we lose attention. We got to hand in some power point on google classroom, attach that google doc whitin 00.00 am and email some teacher to tell’em we’re having some troubles with the last homeworks. They mark our papers but cannot explain where we failed and how could we improve ourselves. We lost all the “human” aspect of the school (actually the best part).
    Truth is that most of the students hate being at school in a normal condition (yeah we’re such idiots cause we don’t know how lucky we are) and the only thing that matter to us are the grades at the end of the day instead of coming out of schools with a proper knowledge and the desire of learning more. At this point, assumed that 6 hours per day, 5 days per week we’re doing something we don’t properly enjoy you might understand how much our classmates are important to keep us going. At the end of every day of this kind of “school” I just feel empty, but believe me or not we’re trying to do our best. Is just like training so hard to start some kind of important championship and week after week you realise that maybe you won’t even start. So giving a resume: you started training, went tired, kept on going beyond your limit, again, and again only thinking “you’re doing this cause you’ll have to get fit on the pitch” and then you find out you prolly won’t get back on it and so the next time you’re training you’re thinking “why am I doing this? What’s the point? Why shouldn’t I give up now?
    I just hope we’ll be able to get back as soon as possible at school, in school, all together.

    • You should not give up, because this is but one of the those times- a very hard one, I grant you- you will have adapt to reality in order to survive. It will happen many times in your life, and you know what? Being able to face hardships makes the man and not otherwise. I like your frankness, but if I understood welll, you need to be in presence for a sense of solidarity to bear the boredom of our lessons, and you said it right, boredom does not depend on remote learning. If you are not interested in the subject, your feedback would be the same either in presence or remote. If you asked a teacher, any teacher, what is the best part of your job, the answer would be: you, our connecting with the students. Hence, you shouldn’t think that we are safely and happily at home. As for the hours spent watching the screen, of course 6 are too many for you, but teachers, or at least I, spend 10 hours at the computer every day: teaching, planning, marking , joining school meetings. I can assure, my life was much simpler before, but I cannot ignore the fact that the infection rate is increasing and above all, that there have been no investments to make school safe, thus, being and old lady, I’d rather stay at home.

  2. What I don’t understand is how, a state with a constitution based on work, is trying at all costs to do “all students in” when, by doing so, it puts all other sectors at risk. But I understand that, having invested so much money in it, it would not be smart not to exploit it.

  3. At this moment they are only postponing the problem, I have lost all my hopes. The only thing that I ask is that they get a decision. I know that in this period is a tough thing to do but is better than postponing it every weekend.

  4. Well, I’m sure that the government is trying to do what is best for all, the problem is that they never had been a teacher before, so they cannot imagine how is like living this situation from their point of view. I know that they are trying to solve things focalizing on what is more important in this period (for example school, but we have already a suitable remedy for it). The best for now is to end all of this soon as it is possible. The idea of returning into class certainly will cause problems, so why complicate what’s already complicated?

  5. The situation itself is very difficult for us students and for all the teachers. Government’s decisions just don’t help us and brings other stress and confusion. All the decisions they made were counterproductive and in my opinion, in this moment, the best thing to do is to keep us at home. This is bad for our education and our future but it’s the best decision they can make now.

  6. I think we are in a very complicated period and that all people would do anything to get everyone back to school safely … but this is not possible because of the virus . That’s why I think if the choice is between dad or 50% in and 50% remote the best choice is the second one because I find it more functional and effective

  7. In these last days of the new year, we started without knowing what we were going to do the next day. For example, our own return to school was announced to us a few days before the actual return to class. Another example of “uncertainty” is the color of our region, which seemed to change randomly from day to day. It seemed to live in constant waiting for news about what our future would be like. The week after receiving certain news, in fact, we would have restarted our wait for “the next news”. In recent months we have been locked up at home, we cooked more bread than a baker and cutted more hair than a hairdresser. We understood how important it is to have contact with people, to be able to hug them and be together. In these last days of the new year, we started without knowing what we were going to do the next day. For example, our own return to school was announced to us a few days before the actual return to class. Another example of “uncertainty” is the color of our region, which seemed to change randomly from day to day. It seemed to live in constant waiting for news about what our future would be like. The week after receiving certain news, in fact, we would have restarted our wait for “the next news”. In recent months we have been locked up at home, made to cook more bread than a baker and cut more hair than a hairdresser. We understood how important it is to have contact with people to be able to hug them and be together. We miss the school that we hoped to leave as soon as possible, We miss that anxiety at the school desks when there was a check and all the laughs with the classmate. Now that we are in January we are all tired and with the desire for all this to end as soon as possible and return to normal.

  8. In my opinion, to talk about “education” today is really surreal. I can understand that the management of the situation we are experiencing is a very big responsibility but there is no doubt that in addition to the virus, what reigns among us is only confusion. At this point I only hope that those who have to make decisions do so with confidence and putting aside their pride, retracing their steps without fear of the judgment of the people, who will be there whatever the decision taken for better or for worse.

  9. Chaos now reigns over the school discourse. Those who have to make decisions do not do so and put off the problem, those who out of fear or pride do not go back on their mistakes. Why should we go back to school if there are scientists who say it would be extremely dangerous. Honestly I miss the school air, being with my classmates even the most disliked ones, I miss school, but if going back to it would mean condemning us to a new lockdown, then NO.

  10. It is a very hard time. I feel badly damaged by how things have been going since the start of the lockdown. I feel this situation is taking me away any interest or initiative to do something. The days go by without meaning. Before this situation, school, sport and social life kept me busy planning for the future. Today, however, the days seem to happen all the same without having added anything new inside me. I think this applies to almost all young people who feel imprisoned in the present and deprived of the future. The country should invest in us, make schools suitable for the current situation, build new classrooms if necessary, provide vaccines to teachers and students to save the future. We are the future, but if they leave us locked up at home they will only harm us every day more.

  11. This situation is just nonsense. Keep trying to force the return to schools is irrational and dangerous. We experienced it, but after a couples of weeks we ran another time for covers in our homes. Has something changed since then? No, so why should we fall again into the same mistake? We are just not ready, that’s it.

  12. We always try to do our best. I am honestly loosing my hope and my motivation, if government splits our class again to return to 50% in and 50% remote I will definitely loose my mind. We can’t go back to school at 100% because the virus still exists and as we were not ready on September, we’re not ready now. To live in this situation of uncertainty is awful. In my opinion the best “school” we can have is 100% remote. We know what it’s going to happen the next day only the day before and other countries already know what is going to happen in five months. I’m kinda speechless because I miss my classmates, my friends, the real lessons- the catchy ones.

  13. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many, distance learning can never replace face-to-face teaching. This is especially so in high schools where most students are still teenagers and need to engage with teachers and learn from them. This situation will probably go on for a long time, we young people will lose what they call “the best years of our lives” and the teachers will feel powerless and not as enthusiastic as before to do their chosen work.
    I hope we can all get back to school soon, and I’m sure it will be an incredible emotion for everyone. We’ll realize how much we’ve taken for granted everything we used to call “normal”, but in the end, “normal” is just the situation you’re used to living in.

  14. I think this situation is absurd, I think everyone wants to go back to school, but that it is in safety and with structures and measures that allow it.
    The school management was run by incompetent people, who do not even know what school really is.
    They spent money for seater desk were useless in the least, when they could be invested, in transport or to improve schools.
    Every week we live at the mercy of what the government decides at the last moment.
    I think the right thing to do now is follow lesson from home.

  15. I think that being a teacher like this is very difficult and it seems to me that the government does nothing to find effective solutions.In this period, life as a student is also very difficult, after almost a year of being a dad you miss seeing friends and teachers, but in my opinion it is better to stay at home than to divide the class in half. It is a very difficult time for everyone and I hope with all of myself that it will end as soon as possible. I can’t wait to be able to go back to class together and resume normal lessons.

  16. I think this whole situation is surreal. We guys are spending the best years of our life, our adolescence closed inside the house and in front of a computer. I think everyone misses school, interacting with teachers and with their classmates, recreations around school, but also simply sitting next to their classmate. Distance teaching can never replace face-to-face teaching. I hope to return to school soon, but safely and with well-organized time slots. I hope to return to normal

  17. Presence at 50% ,then at 75% ,then wheelchairs, this year we have heard and tried everything. Now we are all a bit tired and without motivation and our government wants us to go back to school but I wonder how long it will last. Maybe at the first cold we will start again the quarantine and so the story will be endless.
    I think that the best choice would be to wait for the infections to decrease and then return all together (100% ) in our classrooms.

  18. I don’t know what the people who wrote these laws are thinking, but I do know that they’re trying to solve the problem we’re all living in the best way, however, we cannot always have a win-win in all sort of situations we’re in: so these “solutions” would eventually result in one thing; anger.
    Not just from students, who are suppossed to end the scholastich in July, as their dear teachers, but also and invetably by their parents whose children education is jeopardized by this pandemic.

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