Nobody Asked Me: A Teacher’s Opinion on School Reopening

Everyone has an opinion about how and if schools should reopen for this coming school year. We’ve heard from the governors, the pediatricians, the parents, the education secretary, and the president. Everyone has a “study” and “research” to back up their claims, but unfortunately (as always with decisions made in education) they do not have one very important thing- experience in a classroom. In classrooms filled to max capacity with five year olds who don’t even know how to blow their own noses, where the teacher:student ratio is 1:28 or in some cases even higher. Classrooms where the teachers are already begging parents for tissues, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes, even in a pre-Covid world. Classrooms and hallways and bathrooms filled with teenagers who think they are invincible. School buildings with no extra rooms, without central air, where there are 4 sinks for over 200 students to use. As a teacher, I do have this experience, so I have many questions about how it will be possible and safe for schools to reopen. Nobody asked me- but since many other professions are giving their opinions about reopening, I thought maybe, just maybe, (it’s a little crazy but hear me out) we should hear from a teacher.

Let’s discuss hand washing. If an average class size of kindergartners is 25, then it would take 8.3 minutes for them each to wash their hands for 20 seconds- not too bad you might think. That’s doable- let’s reopen! Unfortunately that does not account for transition time between students at the sink, the student who plays in the bubbles, or splashes another student, or cuts in line, or has to be provided moral support to flush the toilet, because they are scared. It doesn’t account for the fact that only a few students will be allowed in the bathroom at a time and the teacher must monitor whose turn it is to enter and exit the bathroom, and control the hallway behavior, and send the student who just coughed to the “quarantine room” that doesn’t exist BECAUSE THERE ARE NO EXTRA ROOMS. Where are the students in hallway waiting? In line? All together? Six feet apart? No wait, three feet is okay now. Either way, 25 children standing three feet apart is a line over 75 feet long. Who is monitoring this line? Keeping them quiet, reminding them to keep their hands to themselves?

Another thing about social distancing. Even people who are not teachers have already figured out that there is not enough room in classrooms for all students to be six feet apart. No problem, we’ll just change the guideline to three feet. But what about all of the classrooms around the country that don’t even have room to put all of their student desks three feet apart? What about the classrooms that do not have desks and have tables where students sit in groups instead? Who is providing these classrooms with new socially distant furniture? Is there a budget for this or are schools getting increased funding? LOL NO, they are getting LESS funding. Oh okay, well maybe teachers will just buy it themselves out of their own pockets, as they do so many other supplies. Well I have bought A LOT for my classroom and students over the years, but I can not personally afford to buy them all individual desks. Even if the kids do have individual desk spaces, do they have to stay there all day? Do the kindergartners ever get to come to the carpet area for a story (spoiler alert- it is not big enough for 25 kids to sit three feet apart). Do they ever get to do centers? Sit next to a friend and read together? Can they even share books? I think before anyone gets to answer these questions, or more likely brush them aside, they should have to try to teach 25 five year olds how to sit in a chair on the first day of school.. and then get them to stay there all day every day.

So after we return to school without the equipment and ability to stay healthy and safe and a teacher or student gets symptoms, what then? The teacher or student should stay home to avoid infecting others, right? Well, a few things to consider: 1. Many times the kids are asymptomatic so they will be spreading germs unknowingly. 2. Many kids already come to school sick, sometimes dosed with medicine to mask fevers and symptoms, because parents have to get to work. How do we monitor this? 3. The symptoms of COVID are very similar to the symptoms that young children exhibit throughout the fall, winter, and spring due to common cold or allergies. And if teachers and students really stayed home every time they had a cough or symptom, they would probably be absent more than present. So do we have to ignore certain symptoms? Please clarify which symptoms are okay. 4. Staff are likely to have increased absences due to self-monitoring symptoms. Are they going to have substitutes for their classes? Substitutes can already be extremely hard to find. If we do find a sub- what germs are they bringing in? Where have they been? If they test positive do all schools they have been subbing at have to quarantine? 5. If a teacher or student tests positive for COVID, who quarantines? The entire class? The school building? Do we use sick days for this or is it unpaid? Do we switch to remote learning during the quarantine? Who is teaching the remote learning if the teacher is unable to work due to HAVING THE COVID THAT HE/SHE CAUGHT AT SCHOOL BECAUSE WE CHANGED ALL THE HEALTH AND SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS JUST TO ACCOMMODATE PUSHING SCHOOLS TO REOPEN WITHOUT THE EQUIPMENT, SPACE, OR ABILITY TO KEEP STAFF AND STUDENTS SAFE?

Yeah, but students need to be in school for socialization! You are 100% correct there. Students need to interact and have human connection and learn social skills. Helping students learn to make friends, share, be kind, love learning, and become good citizens is one of the most important parts of my job. However it’s going to be hard to interact when students have to stay apart and impossible to learn to share if they can’t touch the same supplies. And guess what? That REALLY stinks. Everyone can agree this whole Covid situation bites the big one. Teachers WANT to get back to school- WHEN IT IS SAFE. We want to get back to seeing “our kids” in person everyday- WHEN THE CASES STOP RISING. Teaching remotely is not easy or fun. We want to get back in our classrooms- WHEN WE NO LONGER HAVE TO FEEL LIKE WE ARE RISKING OUR LIVES AND OUR FAMILIES LIVES TO DO SO.

We hear you, parents: Kids like school. They miss school. They learn more at school. They are annoying you at home. Teachers miss school too. We miss the kids (even though, off the record, they annoy us sometimes too)! But our top concern right now is that everyone is healthy and safe. Remote learning isn’t most people’s first choice, but it is a safer solution in the meantime, while we figure out this global health crisis. It is also hard to imagine how much learning would be taking place in the classroom anyway after they wait in their 75 foot long lines to wash their hands for 20 seconds multiple times a day. School days are already crammed full and now we will be adding in disinfecting constantly, monitoring for symptoms, sending kids to “quarantine”, trying to get ahold of parents, dealing with masks, giving “mask breaks”, etc. We were flying by the seat of our pants to make remote learning work last spring and I think teachers across the country did a pretty darn good job! But if we would decide now to make the safe decision for teachers and students and open with remote learning in the fall, teachers could be training and preparing and planning for online education, (instead of trying to open schools and then flying by the seat of our pants AGAIN to go online when it doesn’t work!)

We hear you pediatricians: Kids don’t usually get severe symptoms. They are usually asymptomatic. That is all well and good, but kids can still spread the virus to each other. They might not get sick, but they can take those germs home to their families. They can give those germs to their teachers, who can take it home to their families. Yes, we, as teachers, are used to being the sacrificial lambs. Yes, we protect our students and would take a bullet for them if necessary. We would give our lives to keep them safe when they are in our care. But I am not willing to expose myself to COVID and take COVID home to my family for the sake of having school in-person when that is completely preventable.

We hear you, governors: wE aRe hAVinG a haRd tiMe mAkiNg dEcisiONs. Yes, this is an ever-changing situation and we have all been keeping our fingers crossed, but COVID is not going away, cases are on the rise, the school year is approaching, and we need answers.

We hear you, Secretary of Education (“the first secretary of education with zero experience in public schools”): Blah, blah, blah. Please sit down.

We hear you, President: These CDC guidelines are too safe. Make them less safe and easier and cheaper to follow. Open the schools or I will cut your funding. The health and safety of this country’s children and teachers is more important than the economy. That should be obvious and not a political issue to be debated.

But what do I know? I’m just a teacher. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

718 thoughts on “Nobody Asked Me: A Teacher’s Opinion on School Reopening

  1. I concur with those above reminding the OP that MANY people have had to work during this entire pandemic. I am in dentistry and I had no say also when dentistry re-opened and I had to start working 12 inches from my patients’ faces while CREATING aerosols in the air from their mouths! Right now Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCAs are packed with kids from parents who HAVE TO WORK. So yeah, you also have to go back to work. And yeah, like all of us, you’re gonna have to make adjustments and it won’t be pretty. Good luck to you and everyone out there having to work around other people!

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      1. I’m a teacher also. Are we cleaning bathroom between each kid are teachers the ones who must sanitize each desk between days? We do most of the cleaning in the room now but with the Covid how are we safe and energetic enough to keep kids 6 ft apart to keep monitoring their hand washing then teach then clean then when do we wash when do we get a break these are not crazy questions they happen in regular clas before Covid so for sure these will be issues and how how do you keep a 1st grader or 2nd grader 6 feet away when they are upset or hurt on playground?

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      2. Many new people have to be hired, according to deblasio and mulgrew. Will there be deep, complete, and comprehensive background checks on these new people? I doubt it considering time and money constraints.

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    1. Try dentistry with a class full of kids with open mouths. I know masks. The president can’t even wear one right. It’s going to be very tough. I think it’s going to take another phase 1. And do it right from the “start” this time.

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    2. I think meeting with students who really need it one-one-one like you and your patient would be doable and controllable. I do not think being in a classroom with 25 students would be doable safely.

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      1. What price do you put on a human life? Your own? imagine a wheel you can spin like on Wheel of Fortune. On the wheel are amounts of money.

        However, one says spread your virus to several other people. If the spinner stops on that you have to spin another wheel to see how many of your friends, neighbors and family must also spin the wheel. Now look around at friends, neighbors and family. Who will you pick to spin the same wheel?

        Another stop says “go on a ventilator” If you hit that one you have a tube put down your throat and wait until someone rolls a “you can go home now” for you. The game is a long one if you are really lucky a “go home” will come up in a few weeks.

        There is one that says “you die”. These are only 3 possible places for the wheel. How many times will you spin that wheel? There’s money there. What is your life worth?

        In a hurricane or other natural disaster people pull together. Those who help others by risking their lives are called heroes. The pandemic is not going to be over quickly. The urge to save others wears thin after the months go by. Especially when you are stuck inside unable to be with those others. This is when the true hero hangs in there.

        Now if you believe the virus is a hoax and will go away on it’s own, how do you explain the bodies being stored in refrigerated trucks? As much as I love Disney World, and an spend hours dreaming of the next time I will go, As much as I want to believe in magic, I have seen death. It is real. One is talking, laughing, full of life then just a body. I was the one to find a neighbor on her kitchen floor. I know there are no fairies, babies are not found under giant mushrooms, and there are no pots of gold at the end of rainbows. There no families of gods and goddesses living in the clouds. I know this because I have flown through those clouds.

        The pandemic is real and nothing can change that, We either fight it or eventually die.

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    3. But unlike dentistry, teachers CAN work with their students remotely. Let’s try to keep as many people safe that we can until a vaccine is available.

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      1. This decision will be done by those outside the classroom and the field of education. It is so like asking a auto repair person to do back surgery. ” I watched a surgery by Dr. Pol once on Discovery, so I know what to do”. Of course there is a friend of the President who has a Doctorate in Economics who “knows medicine” giving medical advice. It seems that many of those who have said …. the kids need to be in school….. wanted the beaches, taverns, rallies opened. Will the result be the same spike in illnesses??? The Preamble of the US Constitution talks about protecting the health, safety and general welfare of the people of the United States of America. Who in the state and national capitals is using that as their guideline. Or is it ……… what does my party say??? Oh my, what do I do now with a general election coming?

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      1. In dentistry you have gloves and a mask that’s it not sure what dentist you have been too if they were covered in protective wrap from head to toe.

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    4. How selfish. You working on one dental patient is not comparable to working with a classroom full of kids. You are obviously a very stupid person.

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      1. I agree with Shawna!!!!
        I’ve worked in dentistry for decades. Obviously your office is NOT following CDC, ADA or WHO guidelines. Our office is wearing much more than masks & gloves! Having 1 patient in hygiene & 1 in the dentists chair is not even close to being in 1 classroom with 20 kids let alone an entire school!!!!! Are you pissed your office didn’t shutdown? Are you a parent? Do you care about any people’s lives other than your own?????

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    5. The difference of course, is that many businesses are making the efforts and have the resources to put safety measures in place. And many school districts barely have money to get by anyway. Where is this funding coming from?

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    6. You’re confused. You make it sound like we don’t want to “work.” That insinuation is absurd. You completely missed the point. In the dentist chair you stand over, how many patients are there? Do you get it now?

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    7. However, dear friend, In Dentistry and in the medical field, anyone who enters your facilities MUST wear masks and are asked a list of questions. If one of those questions is answered the wrong way, they cannot enter. Period. Also, temperatures are taken upon arrival to these buildings and no one with what is considered a fever, can enter. None of this will happen in school buildings. You are comparing apples to oranges. Not to mention, we don’t know enough about this virus to really know how it is going to effect our children.

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      1. re you with 30 of those people all day? Or 30 people for 46 minutes, then another 30 for another 45 minutes, etc for 6 to 8 times all day in a building with 2600 all walking near you , laughing, shouting, trying to take their masks off even though you repeatedly tell them to put it on? And is the building you work in poorly ventilated, the hvac system breaking down constantly? If you answered no to any of these, please don’t you dare compare your level of risk to mine.

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      2. The banks have been open until recently and no temps were taken and money has been in and out of how many hands over and over and over and it hasn’t been washed at all. So why aren’t there a crazy amount of people who work in the banks sick?

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    8. Are you with 30 of those people all day? Or 30 people for 46 minutes, then another 30 for another 45 minutes, etc for 6 to 8 times all day in a building with 2600 all walking near you , laughing, shouting, trying to take their masks off even though you repeatedly tell them to put it on? And is the building you work in poorly ventilated, the hvac system breaking down constantly? If you answered no to any of these, please don’t you dare compare your level of risk to mine.

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    9. Gwenifer, you sound young, ignorant and selfish, but mostly ignorant. I am an ICU nurse and I also have teacher certification and have taught high school physics and biology. You have absolutely no idea what is involved in trying to teach 28-32 students per class and those are students that can go to the bathroom by themselves. Furthermore, teaching online is still work. The teachers have to prepare lesson plans, labs, tests, discussions, exercises, etc for every subject they teach and then have to make changes according to the students’ different abilities and for teaching online instead of in the classroom. Medical personnel such as yourself have only one patient at a time and you can wear a shield with a face mask and gloves. Stop whining and be glad you have a job and not 32 patients at a time in the same room.

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    10. Teachers ARE working. Distance learning is actually more difficult work; trying to meet needs remotely rather than in person is nearly impossible. Boy, teachers went from hero to zero in an instant, without changing anything they are doing.

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      1. I worked so hard to try and advance the learning for my Sophomores. It worked for some, but some did not work at all. THAT is what parents need to do for grades 2 through 12; keep your kids working. The tools and projects should be taught by the teacher in a variety of methods online. If that did not happen, perhaps you need to ask administrators what limitations were placed on teachers (type of assignment? Time limits for average student completions? Deadlines? Attendance?)
        Once again, teachers are the middle man between admin and parents. The difference between Home School and Remote Learning is an essential detail in the discussion. If your child is in remote learning, the teacher should be posting work, notes, lessons, videos to assist students. Many post recorded lectures. Most hold some group sessions (again, district leaders may have restrictions on use of these tools). I started holding “office hours” where a live drop in was offered during the session (and beyond) slotted for my class period… I posted the Google Meet link and kept it live for the duration of the time scheduled, which enabled individual conferencing and students could ask questions and request clarification or feedback.
        Give us the chance to work the remote learning now that we have had a month to plan for the possibility. Also, ask the administrators to allow teachers to make the call!

        As for K-2… that is really hard! If it is me, no kindergarten- too risky! Grade 1 and 2?? Small group daycare with a retired teacher or student teacher would work in this time.
        We can get through this, but please stop hunting teachers! It is never up to us and so many teachers will need to teach remote for the kids who are not allowed to return to school- it is going to happen!

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    11. Gwenifer, how many patients do you see per day, compared to the number of students a teacher interacts with? Do you have N95 masks and face shields? Will teachers have N95 masks and face shields? Just wondering.

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    12. Gwenifer – My daughter’s ortho charged me $25 for PPE and sanitizing, after ONE visit. She needs to go back and I’m terrified to take her back. I cannot keep paying an extra $25 for each visit. Schools cannot/will not do that. And as others have said…you have ONE patient. Try having even FIVE in the same room waiting for you to bounce around and help them. Kindergarteners create their own little aerosols in the air from their mouths, heck even fifth graders do. Sorry, dentistry and teaching…apples and oranges.

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    13. How many people do you interact with a day? The average secondary teacher has 150 students per day. The average elementary teacher 28. You already have masks, shields, PPE right? TeAchers, not so much. In fact not at all and funding for these is not forthcoming. Average dentists’ salaries, hell average dental hygienists’ salaries average much more than teachers. In fact the average hygienist salary is up to twice that of the average teacher salary in most states. And dentists’ 3 to 4 times as much. So you could afford to buy all of your own health and sanitation supplies. Teachers not so much. Different situation entirely.

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    14. It’s a bit different – being a dental hygenist who has the proper PPE and procedures at 12 inches away, such that the disease is not transferrable while droplets are flying, is not comfortable to be sure – but I had my teeth cleaned this way a month ago, and she and I were both protected for that 20 minute one on one visit because when it’s one to one and short time duration, protocols are possible and successful. School is a super spreading event with hundreds or thousands of people in one building, and the buildings we work in are petri dishes (no A/C or decent ventilation in my classroom). 6-7 hours a day in a room with multiple people each of whom you can’t possibly control if they can’t control themselves is simply not the same. If schools were the first part of our society to shut down, they should also be the last to open, which won’t or shouldn’t be determined by the calendar but by the disease threat level we have.

      Additonally – you seem to miss the point. Teachers are not saying they don’t want to go back to work. Remote learning took more of my time and energy than normal school for three months. But I will do it again – work harder and longer to return to work in a safe scenario (which – unlike the dentist office – can not be so well controlled)

      Besides which, to say, “I’m suffering, therefore, you should” is the way people who perpetuate hazing and atrocities think. It was Elie Wiesel, a holocaust survivor, who said it was precisely because you might suffer as he did that things needed to change so that you wouldn’t, and he stood for that.

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  2. If you think teachers did “a pretty darn good job” with remote learning, then your bar is set low indeed. The only thing it did a pretty darn well was to shift the burden of your paid responsibilities to already over-extended, struggling parents. The situation was ruinous for working- and middle-class families, as well as rural/small-town families without the advantages of fibre Internet that are common in cities. Women are disproportionately impacted, given that the moms in two-parent households are usually the ones who end up leaving the workforce to look after children. And, of course, there are the special needs and disadvantaged kids that rely on specialized help that their parents aren’t trained to provide and can’t afford to privately procure.
    Your concerns about reopening schools may not be without merit, but don’t pretend remote learning is anything other than the path of least resistance FOR YOU.

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    1. I would argue that returning to school in this environment will be less “work” then if I were teaching virtually this fall. The way things currently stand I will not be responsible for lesson planning or covering academic curriculum if school resumes in person. We will be in survival mode trying to keep everyone healthy. Regardless- remote learning will be the safest option for STUDENTS and teachers and THAT IS THE POINT. Yes, it’s inconvenient. Yes, there are issues with virtual learning too that need resolved in order to do a better job this fall, things we could improve if we had more time to prepare for it (ya know rather than going virtual OVERNIGHT like last time). Let’s also not pretend that teachers are more worried about “being lazy and staying at home” than they are about THEIR LIVES AND THE LIVES OF THEIR STUDENTS. Please read: https://mrsteacherlife.wordpress.com/2020/07/12/if-my-dentist-office-can-open-up-then-schools-can-too-a-teachers-response-to-this-and-other-valid-points/

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    2. Really? So it’s the teachers’ faults that school were shut down? Get over yourself. It’s not the school’s responsibility to babysit kids so parents can work their jobs.

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      1. 10-12 years of education are compulsory in this country, and taxpayers are on the hook to provide such. Thanks in no small part to the ongoing efforts of America’s largest labor union, the NEA, most of us have neither the means nor opportunity to pursue private education for our kids.
        But golly gee, what was I thinking, expecting people whose service I’m legally obligated to pay for and utilize to show up and do their jobs. Just like the rest of us are while this crap is going on.

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    3. May I suggest you, if you are not already, become a teacher. If you think distance learning was easy for the teachers then you really don’t have a clue. As a parent of a young child and a retired teacher, I can tell you they don’t pay teachers any where near well enough for them to risk their lives or the lives of their loved ones. I loved everyone of my students, even those that were not well behaved. I’d have taken a bullet in a heartbeat for any one of them, but knowingly walk into a situation that is preventable, nope, not going to.

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    4. Not sure remote learning was path of least resistance, we were working at home at least 12-15 hours a day. If you don’t teach, you have no idea what is involved. Teachers worked even more extra hours without pay during distance learning then they do during a regular school year. As a teacher, I want to be in my classroom and will be if it’s allowed. My 9th grader will go to school on site as well. Don’t judge what teachers do or don’t do if you’re not living their lives.

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    5. You clearly have never taught, and certainly not remotely. I am currently teaching FT, all online. I am in conferencing 7 days a week, 12 hours or more each work day, and usually 4+ hours on my “off days” Grading electronically is also very time consuming. The processing is very different. To maintain rigor and integrity, I am giving unique exams to each student. That means that I must grade and take individual exams for every student. Since I teach STEM, my exams are not multiple choice, but are mostly word problems, explain, show your logic questions. Additionally, during This time frame, I am developing materials for upcoming lecture, exams, etc… Students are more needy because I cannot protect them from their own distraction behaviors. In a classroom, I can call out the students who are texting, not in the room, sleeping, passive, or not involved. Since I am teaching online, I must conserve bandwidth, so having 24 cameras on during the discussion is not feasible or useful. In addition to my teaching duties, I am now full time tech support. I understand that you are now having to serve as a teaching assistant. But have no doubt that you are not being asked to be a teacher: it is a very different skill set, and it is vastly more involved than you imagine.

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      1. As a teaching assistant for over 2 decades, I can attest it is a vastly different job than being THE teacher. Maybe this scenario can offer you more insight: imagine having a birthday party for 30+ kids. The party will last for 7 hours. The same kids will be back tomorrow and the next, and the next for 180 days. Keep them busy. Keep them entertained. Don’t just play games or do what you did yesterday or they will become bored and naughty. Make it worthwhile learning, and document everything so that their parents, your bosses, state agencies, and the community are satisfied. Take them when they are sick. Take them the day after their grandma died, or they didn’t sleep because their parents were fighting loudly all night, or there was no dinner before bed. Take them whether or not they can use the bathroom by themselves or blow their nose. Make sure they eat, get to the bathroom, are not playing around with electronics, or hurting each other. Please add with new safety initiatives to watch that they keep a mask on (something they will HATE, much like adults do), over their mouth AND their nose. Don’t let them touch each other. Keep them 3 feet apart at all times, even though they should be 6 feet apart. Oh… they have to also frequently wash their hands… thoroughly several times a day in a room about as big as your living room. Okay, good job. You can go home now and rest and make some dinner, and grade papers, and make plans for tomorrow so that no minutes are without engaging activity or everything will totally fall apart tomorrow. Teaching assistants are grossly underpaid for their services, by the way. We can talk about all those job duties at another time. Support ALL school personnel. Assistants really need a living wage.

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    6. Wow! Well if you have a special needs child that you do not know how to care for, I urge you to never have another child or breathe for that matter…. The WHOLE COUNTRY WAS ON LOCK DOWN! So your argument is nullified. Daycares were still open, put your child there if you had to go to work. But since you think teachers are so selfish, you come teach. If not, keep your ugly attitude to yourself.

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      1. I’m a health care worker (RN) with an adopted special needs child and her very bright sibling. Our daycare shut down requiring a mix of work from home, emergency day care and parental help. As a former middle/high school science teacher, I can tell you our ‘remote learning’ was an absolute joke. Teaching became a part-time job in my household again. Much like there are many health care workers fighting to stay home, I understand why teachers might as well, but the mortality rates for covid are less than dying from a car accident (so please, if that’s your argument, never drive again). People will get sick, but people also need to move forward and return to some normalcy. Finally, please re-read your post, look in the mirror and observe who is hateful and carries the ‘ugly attitude’…

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      2. Well, Karen, this may come as a shock to your crypto-eugenicist self, but kids with disabilities are as entitled under the law to education resources appropriate to their need as mainstream and neurotypical kids. So you can fuck right off with your attitude toward the disabled, and return that shit to sender.

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      3. Paco, the rate of death in the US in 2019 from car accidents was 38,000. Five months of covid deaths is 140,000. I wish people would quit using this untrue argument.

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    7. Chuck,

      As a veteran teacher with 20 yrs experience (always rated highly effective) and a Master’s degree in school counseling, I HATED digital learning. As much as I hate it, I witness my newborn with a ventilator lodged in his throat for 5 months. It was a very exhausting and scary experience. It is nothing like being helpless and not being able to change a declining medical situation. Although everyone will not end up on ventilators, why even gamble? With that being said, I would rather have a planned safe opening with digital learning versus unnecessarily having teachers/students jeopardize their lives. My question to everyone that thinks they are experts is have you ever taught in a classroom? I know you may want to think it is super easy, but trust and believe, there are many things that must be part of the equation of reopening.

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    8. It’s not the path of least resistance for teachers. The point of slowing the spread of COVID-19 is to prevent the ERs and ICUs and other medical facilities from being flooded with patients like in New York City. It’s not the path of least resistance for nurses and doctors either. Stress everybody out, use up all the supplies faster than they can be made, get the nurses and doctors sick, and then when someone you love needs a hospital room or a ventilator, too bad. You need a doctor, you need a room, you may need a ventilator, and you need a nurse. And if you’re missing any one of those things, too bad. And when the teachers are sick, there won’t be anyone looking after your kids or teaching them anything.

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    9. My child has special needs and I’m in no rush to gamble on her life. Remote learning sucked for her, but we’ve done so much more together. I love being home with my kids.
      I’m also a teacher- and I put in more hours working from home than I did pre-Covid-19.
      How about you stop pretending your desire for school buildings opening is anything but the path of least resistance for YOU.
      This won’t last forever.

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    10. Wow. People really have no clue. Do you know how much training we had to go through to start remote learning within 3 days? Then continuous professional training and Zoom meetings each day on top of providing parents plans, writing and responding to hundreds of emails each day explaining the plans for each subject area. Conducting Multiple Zoom meetings with 6-7 year olds when Zoom freezes or kicks students out of meetings. Dealing with behavior issues that disrupt the entire lesson and having to train parents and students to use all the new technology. Researching online sights and finding virtual activities that align with state standards when you have no materials at home to use bc you’re not aloud to return to your classroom for anything. Creating and recording reading, phonics, math, writing, science and social studies lessons for students to watch. Trying to schedule times to teach and interact with students that have multiple siblings that also have to use the one computer the family has. Setting meetings in the evenings bc parents were working or their other children had to be online at the same time. Making sure all students are engaging, and when they aren’t or are falling behind, calling home multiple times trying to engage parents. Getting so many emails from the curriculum department saying add this on now and make sure Students record themselves reading at least two times a week. Researching different sites to provide enrichment or adaptions according to student needs. Yes that is our job and something we do on a consistent basis at school, when we readily have access to hands on materials and activities we have in our classrooms. BUT WE DONT HAVE ACCESS TO ANY OF THAT!
      Talking to and helping parents and students cope with learning at home bc they feel so overwhelmed. Remote learning is ready to go teacher planned curriculum sent to parents. Homeschooling is when parents withdraw from school and they have to find all the state standards to be met and create and develop learning. Activities themselves. So, you see we weren’t sleeping in, sitting around eating Bon Bons and shopping online all day. Now factor in teachers having to follow their own children’s remote learning. Teachers would rather be back at school vs remote learning.
      I’m not going to repeat the health concerns bc that would be redundant.

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      1. Yes, I think the teacher’s did an exceptional job providing virtual learning to their students. Why is this parent so upset about working with their own child to achieve mandated learning goals? Sounds like the parent didn’t want to be inconvenienced by the mandates of virtual learning. That’s a sad situation and tells a lot about this parent.

        Teachers didn’t ask for this pandemic nor did you. However, working together for the good of the children seems much more productive, sensible and positive.

        Do you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution? Think about it.

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

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    11. It looks like kids don’t count at all, doesn’t anyone worry about their kids being in this environment,when they could so easily get sick,come on,

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    12. What? This is one of the most ridiculous posts on here. Path of least resistance? It is harder to teach at home when done CORRECTLY!!! The fact that you have to pay attention to what YOUR kid is doing in school instead of avoiding seeing them for 10 hours a day sounds like the path of least resistance for YOU!!! Buck up and get ready because I will tell you this, when teachers decide they and their families lives are more important than being berated by people who on a good day don’t know that their own kid missed 9 assignments in a row, the little tiny bit of information that they left school with will become zero. Good luck with your illiterate children. You’re probably the first person to guffaw at having to spend money to send your kid to school with the supplies they need. Look up guffaw, pretty sure you didn’t pay attention in school when that word came up but do it all the time whoever you are.

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  3. No body is talking about the upper 1% of wealthy paying the bills until the pandemic is over. Instead the theme seems to be the only way to handle this economic crisis is to let the poor and elderly die while middle class survive with food lines and a load of debt passed on to their grandkids. And the Pinocchio President claims none of it is real.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So what does that mean exactly? Never open schools through all eternity? The Wuhan flu is not the only “virus” out there. There are thousands of viruses. So you are saying keep the kids home forever and have the kids lose a normal childhood. Herd immunity is the answer like measles and chickenpox pox used to be…

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    1. Herd immunity won’t work when so many are ignoring guidelines on masks and social distancing. As for measles and chicken pox, vaccines have had a pretty large role in the control of those. No one is suggesting schools will never open. This Spring was a trial run for online learning. Even if we go back to school in the Fall (we will), there will be positive cases pretty soon afterwards, and schools will have to shut down again, at least on an individual basis. We will then be going back to online learning anyway. Shouldn’t we be preparing for that instead of pretending going back to school will last beyond a few weeks. No model of classroom learning that has been proposed thus far will prevent cases spreading. They have just been a means to get kids out of homes so that parents can get back to work. This is not about education or safety or even the socialization of children; it is about the economy. Until there is a vaccine that is reasonably effective and widely distributable, or the number of cases is actually under control in all states and/or provinces, online learning will be the only safe path for any length of time. Administrators and teachers need to prepare for that, whether or not their governments are willing to admit it publicly and whether or not their governments will offer them support rather than just letting them have to come up with a plan on their own like they did in the Spring.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. First: No one is talking about kids at home forever. A “normal” childhood is not lost if kids have to adapt to a crisis for one year. Schools may well be able to open next year without a problem.

      Second: Vaccinations, not herd immunity, are the normal way to deal with measles, etc. When we have a vaccination for this flu it will be offered at drug stores and department stores with pharmacies. Just as other flu shots are offered now. People will pick up the pieces and help each other to reestablish our ravaged country on solid ground. 60 years ago herd immunity was the only answer. Do you want to give up all the new drugs discovered since then, computers,TV, safer cars, microwaves, central air and heat, interstate highways?

      Refrigerated trucks for the bodies who were once family members. someone’s friend, a good neighbor. Think about that.

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  5. As a former teacher, I’m trying to put my feet in the shoes of those who are facing the current crisis. I would be asking for extra training to enable me to teach online, more effectively. A good deal of experience has been gained, on the part of teachers and parents, during the last school year’s finale. Let’s build on that, with the time and funding it takes to prepare our teachers to do their job remotely, keeping everyone safer, and saving lots of lives and money in the long run. By focusing on team teaching, responsibilities can be shared and talent spread out more efficiently. It works in other industries.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Amen to all of your comments As a former educator with children who are also currently teaching/counseling, I can’t envision how to overcome the issues being forced on teachers and parents today.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with the teachers .when my children were young I volunteered at school every day. Doing one thing or another helping the teachers, served on. The P T A. We didn’t have the viruses. Kids weren’t as bad as now. And that wasn’t a picnic…now days I wouldn’t even think about volunteering at schools ..I uphold our teachers anyone who works at schools, drive school buses… people need to take a long, long look at what we are sending our children into..teachers can only do so much..God bless all of you.

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  8. I think it should depend on your district’s status. We were shut down mid-March. , and our district had 0 cases. Today our county has 31 confirmed cases, which is 0.2234%. Less than 1%. We should have finished the year, minus field trips out of the county. We live in a rural community. Mask wearing is required at some places. I think that helps a lot. I am not afraid to go back. Maybe I should be at 59 1/2 years old. Three of the cases were just up the road from me. They self-isolated. Their son caught the virus while traveling outside the county getting supplies for work.

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  9. Very accurate and descriptive as how is a Teacher’s life in a classroom and know seeing how crazy and unhealthy can be for students to attend school. Students miss their school because the social life they had with other students, to see their friends; however, students and parents don’t realize that once they’re in an enclosed classroom, the student will be wearing a mask and Teacher will ask to keep social distancing which I doubted they will accomplish. Classes won’t be like they had them before; like you said, this pandemic spreading can be preventable, and how that can be, putting our own children first. Teachers, school staff, and parents too. How? We have the option to keep virtual learning while a vaccine or treatment is available. In Texas, we have 259K confirmed cases with 3,207 deaths, and in less of three months and our curve substantially increase as our Governor Abbot decided to reopen for business; therefore, use common sense and critical thinking, once our schools are open, the virus will be spread from students to families, and parents will get sick that they won’t be able to provide for their families. So now, think twice before just thinking in sending your kids to schools who will be enclosed in which let’s be clear and honest, schools don’t count on enough budget and school personal to maintain a safe environment during a pandemic. Flu in schools spread drastically and Teachers most of the time leave for sickness, now think how you will risk your kid’s teacher and their families of something that still doesn’t have a cure, and Is absurd that politicians think that they know better than Teachers and the ones who know how to educate in a safe environment. Remember this is just the first wave, now see how the second wave will be; if we are not getting prepared to do what is correct, our numbers will go nuts!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. And, what about the classrooms that have temporary accordian style dividers instead of walls? Then you have 2-4 classrooms connected and way over the 50 person limit…..

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  11. I have decades of experience in the classroom as a teacher and I just have to say that this writer hit the nail squarely on the head and then some!!! Bravo!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. More questions. When teachers are out sick because they contracted Covid 19 at school , do they have to use their sick days and pay for their their medical deductibles and cop-pay out of their own pocket or will they qualify for Workers Comp? Has the PolK Scool Board even purchased Wokers Comp insurance? This could get very expensive and what will happen when students and teachers die from Covid 19 contacted at school? Since the School Board is requiring teachers to work in an unsafe environment they should assume full finically responsibility and if they reopen schools in an unsafe ways and students get sick will the Scool Board be finically responsible. I suspect these questions will have to be answered in court. Morgan and Morgan is going to have hundreds of new clients.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. New York State developed a Taskforce for Reopening Schools which included teachers, administrators and students from all over the state. This groups discussed everything mentioned in this post and made recommendations for NYSED and the Governor…in this case, the state did an excellent job of including people in the trenches. The only question left now is will the Governor listen to the recommendations from this Taskforce…guess we will find out soon. Just wanted to mention that teachers played an important role on this Taskforce for Reopening Schools in New YorkState ( I know because I was on this Taskforce).

    Liked by 1 person

  14. My wife was a retired teacher. Both my daughters are teachers and they are all worried sick about what is going to happen with schools reopening. One of them get about 12 personal days a yr. She said Dad if I get sick and go into quarantine for 14 days I will use my days and be docked $275.00 per day for the remaining days. Also my daughter has allergies and I’m so worried for her an all of the kids. Sis and I are increasing our life insurance. What a world, what a world!

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  15. I watched as my daughter, a school teacher, worked through the online sessions starting in March of this year. I know she had many one on one training sessions with students who didn’t understand their assignments. She worked planning her lessons and monitoring the learning of all her students.

    She was devastated that she couldn’t be there personally to support them and speak with them when they were upset or needed a stable person in their lives. She works in a district where in some cases the teacher is the only stable person around for them. She would love to return to her classroom and be with her kids but not at the expense of their health or the chance of taking the virus home to an older parent of grandparent. In her district many grandparents are raising their “grands.”

    So much needs to be taken into consideration I just hope someone makes the right decisions!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Even though i favor opening schools, this was a thoughtful, well reasoned point of view and one that cannot be ignored. I wish my children had a teacher like you to teach them writing and reasoning.

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  17. Lots of posts circulating re: pediatricians making a statement to re-open schools and not taking into account the health and safety of the staff. I truly feel like we are being misrepresented by the media. This is a direct quote from The American Academy of Pediatrics, “ Local school leaders, public health experts, educators and parents must be at the center of decisions about how and when to reopen schools, taking into account the spread of COVID-19 in their communities and the capacities of school districts to adapt safety protocols to make in-person learning safe and feasible. For instance, schools in areas with high levels of COVID-19 community spread should not be compelled to reopen against the judgment of local experts. A one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate for return to school decisions.”

    I truly don’t think the majority of pediatricians want kids to go back to school if it means in the progress of doing so we “sacrifice” teachers and staff in anyway.

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  18. Ouch! you are right on all points. So well said. No one asked the teacher on ‘ground zero’ who would have to do and manage all of the changes required to stay safe and keep the kids safe. Good luck telling 25+ 5 year olds to wear their masks all day, every day. Especially during a normal cold season. Teachers show so much love and pour their heart in to their kids, to help them learn and love to learn, but are given so little in return for this priceless gift.
    So glad I read this.

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  19. The first half was very good presentation of practical reasons to not go back. I am the husband of a teacher and also have two two children in school (10th and 8th grade). The imagery was vivid and the points were not B.S.. Very well done by the author. She should have stopped there.

    But she didn’t.

    In the final paragraphs, the author lost her way big time and certainly lost some of the audience she wanted to convince that might have actually started agreeing with her initially. (ex. Libertarians, Trump Supporters, non-political folk who get sick of political posts on Facebook)

    The political part at the end made me cringe. The political digs were unnecessary and perfect textbook examples of ad hominem (DeVos) and strawman (Trump) logical fallacies. She also mocked governors (“We hear you, governors: wE aRe hAVinG a haRd tiMe mAkiNg dEcisiONs.”).

    It weakened the fair points made which were made that were completely non-political.

    It also made her hypocritical when she added at the very end “That should be obvious and not a political issue to be debated.” Well, if it is non-political issue, why the unnecessary digs at the politicians?

    For example, whether Betsy Devos has experience with “public schools” is irrelevant to the points she made. Had Devos been a former public school superintendent, all the author’s arguments for not reopening school would still be just as valid. The dig added nothing. The author did not even present Devos’ advice/opinion on the subject. The author could have made another blog post attacking DeVos, but it did not belong here.

    Someone trying to persuade needs to appear non-biased. The author admits she is trying to persuade in this blog post (“we should hear from a teacher”). “Appeal to Trust” fallacies are real. Many people will dismiss/distrust factual information from Fox News, CNN, Breitbart, and Mother Jones simply because they believe there is a political bias and agenda. The author needlessly let her political bias be known at the end on a topic that she claims is “not a political issue to be debated.” As such, folks may look at what is written at the end and write off the whole thing.

    As soon as a reader sees the political cheap shots, it becomes a distraction from the message.

    Because she got political, she ended up preaching only to the choir instead of winning converts to her position. It will be people mostly on the left who will be sharing this on Facebook. That is too bad.

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    1. I would like to point out that the only thing you can tell about my political beliefs from reading this article are that I do not agree with Devos and Trump on this particular issue, which would be obvious to anyone who watches the news whether I wrote the ending to my article this way or not. I’m not disclosing my political party or other beliefs on other Issues here, because it is irrelevant to the issue. Not sure if all 1.4 million people (currently) that this article has reached are “people on the left”, but yeah, if they are, I guess it’s “too bad”.

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      1. YES! Your political biases are irrelevant and nobody needed to know your politics. What you think of Devos and Trump is irrelevant as to the points you made on why we should not being going back to school! You could be a big fan of Devos and Trump and your points would be just as valid! So why insert your opinions here when it did not add or detract from the very good points you made?

        It is an easy way for people to write you off. All readers have an impression as to what are your personal politics – the impression is you are on the left (you may be on the religious right in reality, but we are talking about impressions). It is just a distraction because others see your bent as relevant as to whether to accept or reject your information. https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/logicalfallacies/Appeal-to-Trust.

        It is unknown how many of those 1.4 million people that seen this that could have been convinced to your position, but are not because of the political digs. But I am certain there would have been more people persuaded had you left all that out. Additionally, maybe you would have reached 2 million people if you left that out?

        It is your blog and you are free to write on it whatever you want. But I was disappointed in the end because you were doing so well up to that point!

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  20. And it is not that you “do not agree with Devos and Trump on this particular issue,” it was the unnecessary digs at them and the mocking of governors that showed your perceived political bias. You did not need to mention Trump or Devos and if you did, you should have only said you disagreed with them and then explained why. Instead you used strawman (https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman) on Trump’s position used an ad hominem on Devos (https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ad-hominem).

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    1. You do make some good points and I hear you, but a huge part of the issue here is the pressure coming from Devos and the threats from Trump to reopen or he will cut funding. I also am not pretending to be a literary genius and am not an expert on strawman or ad hominem- just a kindergarten teacher sharing my concerns. However I accept that we can agree on some points and disagree on others. Hopefully you won’t write off all of the rest of the points in this article because of what you perceive as my political bias. Thank you for reading and for your feedback.

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      1. I certainly did not write off the points in the article based on your political bias. I thought is was all well thought out and vivid. Brilliant really. Your personal politics are irrelevant as the points would be just a valid even if you were a Communist or a Nazi. My fear is only that others would write you off and so my critique begins and ends there.

        At least it was at the end of your blog instead of the beginning so people read the good parts first! 😉

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  21. You had me empathy until the end when you got political. You had no solutions, only complaints. Parents don’t want home schooling, furthermore most parents aren’t equipped to teach their children. What if parents have 4 kids in different grades? How much education will they truly get from parents who aren’t interested in home schooling? Come up with constructive solutions, not just home schooling. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”.

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    1. Great argument. Change careers? If every teacher who fears this changes careers, there will be few if any left to actually teach. No one will ever want to go into the teaching industry. I will also put this out there. Teachers will have an easier time getting into other fields than you would think. Not only is it possible that many can exit teaching, it is possible that they can exit teaching easily. Maybe taking your very job because they can do it better. Then you will be stuck at home with your kids all day. In your mind I’m sure that would be a travesty. If you’d like to discuss the reasoning behind my thoughts post otherwise sit down one liner.

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  22. A close friend of mine, who is also a teacher, has a brother who considers himself very religious. His brother is the only sibling in the family who has children, so their mother in her seventies (a retired teacher), has only these grandchildren. The religious brother is tired of the social distancing get togethers for grandma to see her grandchildren being his only form of entertainment. He insists he’s “going to HAVE HIS SUMMER.” They are going to the recreation centers, amusement parks, boardwalks, etc. that have decided however safely or not to reopen. We all know that this places a much greater risk of infection that grandma will have to choose whether to see her grandchildren anymore, or risk her life to spend some time with them. I asked my friend why he didn’t talk to his brother about sacrifice, about using this terrible moment in everyone’s life to teach his children a most valuable lesson about the GOLDEN RULE, about caring for others, about making the life of their loved ones, and even perfect strangers, more important their their conveniences, good times, and fake sense of normalcy? In the absence of national leadership, we have to do what we can at a micro-level. Children can actually learn about love and humanity in a way they never could before, BUT IT’S UP TO US TO USE THIS MOMENT to TEACH THEM. Yes, parents, with teachers teach them about love and sacrifice for the COMMON GOOD. Believe me, CHILDREN HUNGER for these lesson in TRUTH. They absorb it like sponges if their parents and teachers work together to teach them.

    I, for one teacher, plan to use part of my virtual meeting time with my fourth graders teaching them these valuable lessons. I will be working with a parent community to do the best we can for our students and their children. Children have their little growing psyches, and believe it or not, they don’t always just want to be entertained and sat if front of their XBox or brought to all the entertaining fun. They actually want healthy discipline and they feel important when they are shown how they are able to make a tremendous difference for the good of OTHERS. I swear to all the gods and goddesses that ever were or will be, this is true.

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  23. Why not ask the students if they want to go back to school. I have talked to my grandchildren and many of their friends and they want to be in school. The students are less stressed than the adults, they are not letting the media scare them or the idea of wearing mask a punishment. Give the students a little credit they know what is going on and will accept the ground rules. I feel the elementary grades will be much more difficult to handle than the middle school and high school, but students will listen and they will follow the teachers guidelines, just don’t show scare tactics and get they stressed about the needed changes. Students want structure and doing lessons at home requires structure that many students cannot accomplish. Our schools are allowing the families the option of attending or staying home while this pandemic is still spreading so an option for the families is available. Our teachers have done a good job with virtual teaching, but ask the students I think you will find they want to be back in school.

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    1. Hahaha teachers are there to teach. Not to ask 20 plus 5 years old to keep their personal safe distance, did you wash your hands after the restroom , please wash your hands before lunch, please wipe your runny nose, no honey not with your sleeve with a tissue, ok thank you now wash your hands. I know you’re wanting to help carrying in the lunch basket but remember every morning we talk about staying healthy . No remember we can’t share chapsticks. Hahaha It’s endless no little ones don’t listen for the most part. Mainly because they are very impulsive . Yes children know what they want, I’ve cream everyday for lunch. So should we give them ice cream everyday for lunch? It’s about common sense since we don’t know much about this virus we have to be as safe as possible. Losing one life is one to many if we can be pro active. On line until we can move forward in a safer situation.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Because listening to your children’s opinions as if they are the only opinion that matters is part of the problem. No disrespect but I’m not that old and I remember that I was taught to respect my teacher and when there was an issue, I was asked why I didn’t do what I was supposed to. This is not the case right now because the kids are always right. It makes no sense. They already think they’re invincible. They have no concern for the safety of anyone else, for the most part, as any normal kid wouldn’t. They are kids. They do not have the emotional or intellectual capacity to make these decisions.

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  24. Children are held back a grade due to academic failure, athletics, immaturity and other reasons All The Time. I believe they should be at school, but not at the expense of their safety and the safety of staff. I do not have any solutions to the problems that schools will be facing and there are many but I am saying this – WHY CAN’T KIDS MISS ONE YEAR! It’s only a year and it is done all the time for many other reasons. Pretend like they are repeating a grade. Make them read 4 books a month and do a report or something. Have them do some required Math and turn it in at the end of each month. Pretend they are being held back year because of academics but actually to save theirs and their families lives. Bring the kids back next spring if possible.

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  25. To Paco
    Any fatality is a tragedy, so to compare different types of death is not helpful. But, since you stated traffic fatalities outnumber Covid-19 deaths, you should fact check your statistics
    Traffic fatalities in 2018 36,560
    Traffic fatalities in 2019 36,120
    Covid 19 deaths March to July 9 = 138,334

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  26. Not a difficult issue to resolve — lay off all the teachers and hire those willing to teach. Simple. Issue a tax credit and perhaps parents will get together and hire a teacher for 5-10 kids. Simple.
    Stay home, stay safe. Collect unemployment.

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    1. Where are you going to find 3.7 million replacement teachers during a teacher shortage, smart-guy? Oh wait…. that’s right… you just want baby-sitters, not necessarily teachers. Tool.

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  27. I work at a school. Work yes. Adults know how to be safe. Not kids. You go to work wear your mask and sanitize. Great. Now try to keep 26 clean, sanitized, and mask on all day long. They love to hold hands, hug, and play together. Now they cant. Ok think about this. Breakfast and lunch is now eaten in the classroom. You can’t play together or sit by your friends for story time. They have to sit all day at the table. We are talking pre k kids.can you Sid all day without getting up? Eat lunch at your table? Try this. See how long your own child sits for you at home. Try it and then we will talk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a retired first grade teacher, I know that the children can not do these things. It’s not possible to ask for such compliance w/o much undo stress on the children and the school personnel.
      How do you enforce these rules? Not practical or doable and a recipe for total disaster.
      I don’t know the answer but I do know we don’t have enough info right now to implement these measures. Problems w/o solutions. This is a frightful time for all of us.

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  28. Curriculum exists in every state for students to attend on-line academies. We could save hundreds of millions each month by closing schools and laying off 50% or more of the teachers, starting with the 10% who should no longer be there in the first place. The teachers unions have become too powerful. Time to save some money. Pay the stay at home parents instead…it is a lot cheaper.

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  29. So after all the teachers are sent home from school to their homes or hospitals with COVID, who will be available to teach remotely all the students who will be sent back home after the pandemic proves it was futile to send them to school until the pandemic gets under control or a vaccine is available ?

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  30. I taught for thirty years, retiring in 1997. (Thank God!) I needed a deep knowledge of my subject and a knack for getting kids to commit to what I was teaching. (In other words, I had to surprise them every day.) I loved every minute.
    There is no way I could teach today. Too much non-teaching mishmash for me. I’d rather work in a box store.

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  31. I am a parent of a now 4th grade son. I had to take FMLA, which is only covered for 12 weeks per calendar year w/o pay. I sat side-by-side with my son and learned on-line learning together. I sat with my son for about 5 to 6 hours per day, including lunch and short breaks, to teach him at home what curriculum his teachers provided daily. 5 subjects per day. My son did very well with his on-line instruction. No, he did not want to do it all every day and got fidgety in between, but I would not let up on him. Part of the reason for taking so long was my own note-taking. It has been 30+ years since I was in grade school. The curriculum they have today is much more advanced than what we had at their age. I am no dummy and I am no perfect scholar either. I filled a binder with all of my notes. My son asked me why I am doing that and why it takes us so much longer than his friends are taking. I simply stated to him that if you ask me a question about your school work, I need to answer it correctly to the way that you have been learning it. That is why I have a binder full of notes from April to June. Trust me when I tell you that I had to first of all learn a whole new computer program. Secondly, I had to either learn something new or relearn something old. Some parts were a given, but other parts were not! My point is this – that in order to help my child, I had to learn it with him side-by-side, page-by-page, word-by-word, learning style-by learning style. For as much work I had to do, I am sure that his teachers did double and triple the amount. Lastly, I would not have wanted it any other way. I knew my child was safe and able to learn at the same time.

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  32. Absolutely! If one more person (who doesn’t work in a school building) shares their opinion on reopening schools – I’m going to lose it. OF COURSE children’s safety is important – BUT SO IS OURS. We are parents, too. We have families, too. What people are forgetting (or choosing not to consider) is that this thing runs a lot deeper than just what’s “best for kids”.
    https://sierraflorestirl.wordpress.com/

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  33. Well said! I am grandma to 5 beautiful little girls. They all LOVE school. I am terrified for them to return to school after their families have done all the right things since March, (masks, social distancing, staying home, not playing with their friends…) to stay safe. I’m worried for the teachers too. How will they add all this new responsibility to their day – every single day? They already have so much on their plate! I am NOT a teacher, but I do know how hard teachers work for less pay than they deserve. I can’t imagine that teachers of any grade will be able to teach their curriculum WHILE adding all of these new safety measures to their day and also effectively monitor their kid’s safety. We teach our kids to share and help each other every day. Now we have to teach them to stay away from each other and not share books or other supplies with their friends. This is counterintuitive to everything we have been teaching them all along, whether we are teachers, parents or grandparents! Going back to school even with all of these government safety measures in place will be difficult for all involved. I’m sure the teachers, parents and the older students are becoming more and more worried as we approach the date that their district returns to school. When school was cancelled back in March, many teachers seamlessly and quickly transitioned to online learning for those kids who had access to the internet. Others sent packets of work home to their students to keep them engaged with school curriculum. I feel that going back to school in person in the fall will be a HUGE mistake! I realize parents need to get back to work, and the kids need to continue learning, but we aren’t ready for this! We don’t have things under control. We have recently seen an increase in Covid cases, so if we return to school next month, I would be concerned that the spread of Covid will continue due to the interactions between students and their teachers. Kids and teachers alike will bring it home to their families. When teachers test positive for Covid and need to self-quarantine for 14 days, Will be enough substitute teachers available to fill those voids? What happens then? The schools will need to close again sooner or later. There has to be another way for ALL of us to feel safe while the kids continue to learn. Let’s put our “thinking caps” on!!

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  34. I teach in Florida, the global capital of covid. Our governor has ordered all schools to open, following lock step with the president. I want to teach. That’s why I busted my butt to become a teacher at mid-life. But I don’t want to die because I am a teacher.

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  35. The COVID numbers are already improving. The hot spots are almost no more. (https://twitter.com/EthicalSkeptic/status/1285094550650998784?s=20) If you are that scared to go back in to the class room it is time for you to retire or change your career. Wear a mask, wash your hands. Parents who can’t home school their kids will send them back to school and the ones who can school their children at home will and they will be better off for it.

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  36. Students, parents and school administrations want to goto school and learn in person. They want everything to be back to normal. We all want to be unafraid and live freely. But, that is not the reality today. To reduce spread of coronavirus, we all need to stay away from crowded spaces. If schools reopen, the exposure and risk to teachers & students will increase dramatically.
    IT companies have risen to the challenge and enabled employees to work from home till June 2021 (Google), so why can’t schools follow suit.
    I hope the government and school authorities take the right decision and continue virtual learning until it is safe to resume classroom learning.

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