Making the News and Reopening Schools

When the state that you live in makes the national news, especially in these times, you can be pretty confident that it is not a good thing.

This along with a virtual town hall hosted by my school district’s superintendent on what the reopening of schools will look like in August, has me more than nervous. Nervous as a parent and nervous as a teacher. The CDC guidelines are soft, with a lot of “when feasible” sprinkled in there.

masks and/or face shields (mandatory or not is the most heated of debates)

6 feet of distance (my class line would be over 100 feet long!)

no 6 feet of distance (still packing in 29 students to my same sized classroom – but hey, they lowered the cap on class size from 32)

minimizing class movement (some good ideas on how this will look in middle and high school)

eating in classrooms (don’t cry over spilled milk on the carpet)

buses (social distancing?)

no/very modified recess (sigh)

temperature checks (done outside the classrooms by teachers if enough thermometers can be obtained)

A lot of “what ifs” …a teacher gets sick and there are not enough guest teachers   …a student/staff/family member gets COVID, who quarantines and for how long?   … a student/parent refuses to wear a mask (if mandatory)   …fire drills/lock down drills are still a thing   …the air conditioning goes out (happens a couple times a year – think not only of AZ heat but ventilation recommendations).

It is a lot to wrap your head around and I commend those that are in the position to actually come up with a plan and then sell it to parents and staff. What an awful position to be in. I recognize that I am very lucky to be in an amazing district and working at a wonderful school. I know it can be/is a whole lot worse for other schools/teachers. I don’t want to be the complainer, the one who bitches about everything without providing viable alternatives and suggestions, so consider this post as me simply thinking out loud in an effort to process the landscape my two boys (one middle school, the other high school) and I (elementary school) will face in a couple short months.

There were actually two town halls, one for employees and one for families. The chat stream for each was very different and very telling. In a debriefing email to employees, our superintendent thanked the majority who showed they could express themselves in a respectful and professional manner, he did not/could not say the same thing in his email to families and parents. And I understand that fear and anxiety were behind those not so polite comments, but still, really?

And as I type, I hear this song start up in the background.

Deflated is how I feel. I need to find a way to move past and beyond this feeling. I will find a way to make this coming school year a welcoming and loving one for my students. I will also find a way to do the same for my own boys. I am not entirely sure how I will do this yet, but I must – for my sanity and for theirs.

Baby Yoda on Instagram: “Why can't everything be easy peasey ...

I will get back to the easy peasy lemon squeezy mindset again.

About Shoes

I am an elementary school teacher, a former microbiologist, a mom to a herd of two boys, and a grilled cheese sandwich and beer connoisseur.
This entry was posted in Being a Teacher, The Virus and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Making the News and Reopening Schools

  1. My husband is a teacher too. We’re in CA. No clue what’s going to happen. Remaining hopeful, though. Or trying to. :/

    • Shoes says:

      It is hard, as a teacher, when you really have no way to plan and prepare. I usually walk away from my classroom at the end of the school year with the entire first week of school planned and prepped. I have nothing. I had four hours to break my room down and get out and I have no idea how my room will look for this coming year. I do know my big colorful rug in the front of the room where we meet for all sorts of learning activities, will be gone and no longer a part of my teaching. Sigh. Remaining hopeful (or trying to) is all one can do at this point. But I am not doing well with all this.

  2. Rivergirl says:

    I’ve been keeping an eye on your state, the numbers are not looking good.
    School is a real conundrum… we all want them to reopen for the kids, but is it safe?
    I just don’t know anymore.

    • Shoes says:

      “but is it safe?” – that is the million dollar question. Yeah, our numbers are not looking good. I want to look hopefully into the future, but I am finding it very challenging to do so.

  3. We are trying to be hopeful here in CA for next school opening but my son’s district closed March 13, and the rest of CA on the 16th. We were told we may open in Aug, but less class days or hours for Social distancing . It still in the cloud if it does happen as we don’t know how bad the second surge is gonna be. Praying for all our teachers and school staff . They made our kids feel safe, inspired and comforted through it all. Stay safe and have a great Summer to you and your family .

  4. Shoes says:

    My school went to distance learning on March 23rd, after our week of spring break, and never reopened. We are aiming for an early August opening. Hopefully it will be done in a safe and organized way.

  5. Mary Ann says:

    I hope things improve in your area soon and that school will safely open in August. 🤞

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