August is just a few days away; then it is back to school. OK stop right there. How will school look this year? It changes every day. I was in Walmart a few days ago. Normally the store would be packed with busy parents doing there back to school shopping. Not this year. There is still too much uncertainty about what the school year will look like. If the adults are confused and feeling overwhelmed, can you imagine how the kids are feeling? Just when you get your head wrapped around one decision about school opening, something new pops up.
Let us not forget the most important thing is to get our children back into a learning environment, whether it be virtual or in-class instruction. We are so caught up with the precautions necessary for the prevention of the virus; and rightfully so; but we cannot forget that we are dealing with children. As a teacher, I do not want to yell and scream at students all day, “Keep your mask on!” Who are we kidding? If social distancing is to be the norm, does that not defeat the purpose of recess and PE? Is it even possible for small children to maintain social distance during lunch? We all know middle school students cannot keep their hands to themselves.
This virus has taken so much from us, we cannot allow it to rob us of another school year. Our children are missing far too much instruction. We have to demand that legislators do what is needed to keep the children and the teachers feel safe; while maintaining the integrity of the learning environment. It is not just about money. School districts should not have to be concerned about losing funding if students do not come back to class. It is enough anxiety to go around without adding a lack of funding to the mix.
There is no doubt this year will be challenging, but we have faced challenges before. Now is the time to dig in and work together; the children need us.