It has been some time since I posted. I have been busy piecing two quilts and making small projects. I have also been contacting teachers with whom I worked. I am trying to give them the moral support they need during this pandemic. I do not make it a point to express my opinion, but I cannot be silent about what is happening to children, educators, and families.
Note: Any haters out there who are bashing teachers for not “showing up to work”, I am no longer listening to you. My voice will be stronger than yours. Hopefully, the peoples voices will be stronger than yours.
Teachers are definitely not getting the support from the state governments. Teachers, students, and families are being endangered by the man who sits in the White House. Districts are being threatened of losing funding if they do not open for in-school learning. Superintendents are working against all odds, trying to do what is best for their communities with no support or resources from the government.
Those with governmental power do not know what it takes to teach children. Do they even care for the safety of our children? In a non-Covid , regular school year, schools would always have weeks where strep-throat, the flu, just the common cold, would wipe out classrooms. You could be in the middle of a reading lesson and a child would vomit before he gets a chance to make it to the restroom. Cases of lice hit each year. So, how do these know-nothing government leaders expect children not to contact or transfer Covid? Saying that children might get sick and will get over it is not listening to the science; and it is child abuse.
I just walked past the school where I taught for 30 of my 42 years. The parking lot is packed with the cars of teachers. The recess ground is empty. There is no sound at all coming from the buildings, on the very first day of school. Teachers are isolated in their rooms, taking on the task of teaching 25-30 children online. They have worked all summer, trying to prepare for how they transfer best teaching practices and socialization skills to online learning. Teachers had to scramble last spring to finish the year, and they did a phenomenal job. Now, they are planning a school year (weeks? months?) with no real guidelines or support. It is their professionalism and expertise that is getting them through this. Teachers have had to listen to people say that tax dollars should not be going into schools that are not open… “If teachers are not working, why should they get paid?” What an unfair and untrue statement! Teachers have more stress added to an already difficult and challenging job. Educators are driven by their love for their students. They will go beyond expectations to address the educational and emotional needs of their students. They are also concerned about the parents and families of the children in their charge. Their hearts break for the children who do not have access for online learning for reasons such as parents not being able to work from home and therefore cannot stay home to help; or homes that have no wifi or technology set-up available; or other socio-economic reasons. Many teachers are also struggling to handle their job and the education, health and well-being of their own families.
School as we knew it will no longer be the same. Covid has shown the world what teachers already knew. You cannot pack 25-30 students in a room and expect to maintain a healthy physical environment. (Middle school and high school can have more than 30 students in each class.) School plants need to be updated in so many ways. No longer can we allow schools to have poor air systems, outdated and moldy rugs, bathrooms with outdated and overused plumbing, and outdated technology capabilities. There are schools that were built with no windows. Whoever thought that was a good design for anyone, much less for children? Each school needs a resident nurse, and not one that has to float to four other schools. Each school needs counselors and family social workers. Free lunch should be available for all students. And for those who say school can be held outdoors…try teaching in 105 degree weather. Outdoor sessions can be fun, but they are not a practical everyday solution.
So, thanks for reading my opinion.
The solution to this problem is TO VOTE.
Vote for someone who cares more for the children than for political power or money.
Vote for someone who will listen to real science and follow through on solutions.
Send an air-hug to all the children who miss their friends.
Send an air-hug to teachers in your neighborhood schools.
Send an air-hug to parents who are struggling to work and educate their children.