Apparently “we’re all in this together” has a shelf life that ends with wearing face masks and reopening in-person schools. Because back in March when school buildings closed and moved to remote learning, sidewalks were lined with chalk messages of togetherness. Parents who were suddenly thrust into crisis learning displayed heartfelt signs of appreciation for their kids’ teachers. And for a brief moment, everyone seemed to come together to support each other.
But all that “in this togetherness” has been blown to shreds. Folks disregard face masks guidance because they “don’t like it.” Folks are flocking to bars and restaurants because they’re sick of sitting at home. And government officials and leaders have decided that instead of listening to the science, they are going to send students and teachers into the lions’ den of in-person school.
It’s mind-boggling and maddening and downright terrifying. When schools went to remote learning back in March, there were about 20,000 new cases a day. On July 11, there were more than 66,000 cases in a single day. Yet many school districts across the country are planning to resume in-person education in August or September, despite that fact that were are affirmatively less safe than we were when they closed. Like face masks, sending kids back into classroom settings has become a political issue. We aren’t in this together at all. And in all the debates, the voices of teachers are either drowned out or disregarded.
But here’s what teachers really think about going back to school in the midst of a pandemic.
They are sick of getting the ass-end of the stick.
And sick of the hypocrisy too.
They are tired of being forced to “take one for the team.”
America needs to put up or shut up.
And why are we not talking about how many teachers are at a higher risk?
They are worried about their own lives…
Or their families’ lives.
Because the risks are very real.
Even when schools aren’t physically open, teachers are doing a whole lot of teaching.
And let’s be real about what this all will look like.
Bottom line: Teachers are scared, confused, and worried.
For good reason.
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