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  • Writer's pictureRosalind Hopes Reece

Covid-19 and Returning to School : A Teacher's Perspective

Are you like me, feeling as if you're in a bad sci-fi movie these days? We're all so ready for this whole virus nightmare to be over. School is supposed to start soon, but the cases keep rising, and it doesn't make sense to pretend like everything is normal and to just open school doors as if people aren't actually dying from this thing. Teachers and students are literally walking into a potential land mine this fall. No matter what is declared, anyone can get the virus, and classrooms definitely aren't wide open spaces. No one is talking about how teachers and students are in one room for a minimum of 45 minutes per day, nonstop. Being in these close quarters for that long isn't the most optimal place to be if you're trying to avoid contracting Covid-19.

I recently heard a teacher on CNN say that she felt like we're guinea pigs...I concur with that notion. Otherwise, the decision to teach virtually would be an easy one. I understand that there are parents who have to go to work, and they need someone to watch their children. However, teachers aren't babysitters. I pray that peoples' lives will matter more than money/funding, and that the right choices for all involved in the school system will prevail. It's time for education to change anyway. For years people have been complaining about students' standardized testing scores, how America lags behind other countries' educational effectiveness, etc. Let's figure out ways to creatively teach virtually, with students actually seeing their teachers' faces on the screen each day. We quickly learned that when we need to, we can make adjustments to teach online and make it work. Truthfully, there is nothing that we do in the classrooms that can't be adjusted to working from home. Results may not have been as good as we wanted them to from March-May because we were in panic/survival mode to just deal with this virus and its implications. Now we have more time to figure out a new way until we can safely return to the school building.

In the meantime, let's put everything else aside that doesn't put Americans' health, safety, and lives first. Do we really want to sacrifice our teachers and children for the sake of returning to normalcy?

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