Foo Fighters bandleader and all-around good guy Dave Grohl – whose mother was a public school teacher – has shared an impassioned essay titled ‘In Defense of Our Teachers’ that praises the service of educators and slams Donald Trump’s move towards reopen schools amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Reflecting on his mother Virginia’s 35-year career as a school teacher, Grohl writes of her dedication to the role. “Never one to just point at a blackboard and recite lessons for kids to mindlessly memorize, she was an engaging educator, invested in the well-being of each and every student who sat in her class,” he says. “And at an average of 32 students a class, that was no small feat. She was one of those teachers who became a mentor to many, and her students remembered her long after they had graduated.”
“It takes a certain kind of person to devote their life to this difficult and often-thankless job. I know because I was raised in a community of them,” Grohl explains in the letter.
Grohl goes on to explain that there an array of issues when it comes to the “daunting” and “ever more politicized” question of reopening schools in the middle of a global pandemic. “Most schools already struggle from a lack of resources; how could they possibly afford the mountain of safety measures that will need to be in place?”
Quoting his mother directly, Grohl echoes her advice that remote learning – while it faces its own myriad of complications – is ideal for the time being.
“Remote learning is an inconvenient and hopefully temporary solution. But as much as Donald Trump’s conductor-less orchestra would love to see the country prematurely open schools in the name of rosy optics (ask a science teacher what they think about White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s comment that “science should not stand in the way”), it would be foolish to do so at the expense of our children, teachers, and schools.”
“‘Until you have spent countless days in a classroom devoting your time and energy to becoming that lifelong mentor to generations of otherwise disengaged students, you must listen to those who have,” Grohl says towards the end of the essay.
“Teachers want to teach, not die, and we should support and protect them like the national treasures that they are. For without them, where would we be? May we show these tireless altruists a little altruism in return. I would for my favorite teacher. Wouldn’t you?”
You can hear Grohl read his essay aloud via YouTube below, or read it here over at The Atlantic.