The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic's been a major challenge for K-12 educators and their support systems, from professional elementary school, middle school and high school faculty and staff to the parents forced to become unlikely home school administrators.
Mandy Greer, the principal of Happy Valley Elementary School in Carter County, Tennessee, sums up many of the frustrations caused by social distancing in "8 to 3," a song parody of Dolly Parton's "9 to 5."
Greer's lyrics about the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on her profession include the following, as transcribed by local news station WJHL:
Walking into an empty classroom, knowing that my first Zoom is real soon, scared to death that I won't do things right
First kid joins and my heart starts pumping, Billy's over there on the bed jumping, this might not be good for teaching vibes
Zooming 8 to 3, what a way to teach a lesson
Students won't be quiet, I need everyone a' listenin'
It's not the first time "9 to 5" has been changed this year to describe distance learning. Erin Castle, the president of the Lubbock (Texas) Community Theater Board and a high school teacher, joined other educators back in April for "8 to 4," a spoof with completely different lyrics.
Both songs remind us of the struggles our already underpaid and overworked educators overcome in a very unorthodox year.
The film 9 to 5 centers on three secretaries dealing with overt sexism in the workplace. The comedic film famously followed the three women (played by Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin) as they ended up kidnapping their boss. In the '80s, Parton's title song for the film became a massive hit. In 2009, the singer-songwriter adapted 9 to 5 into a musical on Broadway.