Have you ever felt as though no one is listening? That expressing your serious concerns is just an act of futility? This is how it feels to be a teacher in the 20-21 school year. The following is just some of what you may hear us trying to shout. (This is not an exhaustive list, but it sure is exhausting trying to get others to hear us.)

STUDENTS ARE BEING SENT INTO SCHOOLS SICK!

Yes, some parents have always sent their sick kids to school. Some give them a morning dose of Tylenol and send them on their way, until 2 hours into school when the fever returns. Some send them after they have thrown up at home or the night before, some send them and tell them to go to the nurse to get a diagnosis so they don’t have to take them to the doctor. And yes, even though you would think this would not happen during a deadly pandemic- it still is happening- everywhere.

SCHOOL TRANSMISSION CAN HAPPEN! MANY TIMES THERE IS NO PROOF IF IT DOES BECAUSE PARENTS DON’T HAVE TO TEST THEIR SYMPTOMATIC CHILDREN! AND YES, PEOPLE ARE ASYMPTOMATIC!

When a sick student is sent to the nurse and they get sent home with one or more Covid symptoms, parents can choose to get their child tested or keep them home for 10 days. So, that child could be positive and have been in school and on their bus, or wherever, but no one is contacted for contact tracing if there is never a test done. Not to mention how it’s impossible to trace when people are asymptomatic and not tested.

THERE ARE GRAY AREAS AND QUESTIONS ABOUT WHERE PEOPLE CONTRACTED THE VIRUS!

More than half of people that contract Covid-19 do not know where they got it from. So students or staff contracting it from a school is not out of the question.

SCHOOL HVAC AND AIR FILTRATION SYSTEMS ARE NOT THE MEDICAL GRADE SYSTEMS THAT ARE FOUND WHERE DOCTORS, NURSES,AND DENTISTS WORK!

Please stop comparing educators to people who work in the medical field. We do not work in the same types of buildings that are made for any capacity of sick people. In fact, even with system improvements, many school buildings do not meet OSHA or other building ventilation requirements. Most of us have to keep windows open in order to have minimal air flow. Most teachers do not get supplied by their employer with PPE or adequate cleaners, or protection such as plexiglass dividers.

DR. FAUCI DOES NOT WORK IN A SCHOOL! 

I know, I know. Dr. Fauci says the safest place for children is in school. No, the safest place for most children right now is at home, with families that are following social distancing guidelines and being careful when and where they go out. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of Dr. Fauci and his medical expertise but he doesn’t work in a school (see my comments above concerning what it’s like in schools)

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO STAY 6 FEET AWAY FROM STUDENTS AND OTHER PEOPLE IN A CLASSROOM!

Have you tried to pass out papers, collect papers, give a kid a pencil, help them with writing an essay or see their math workbook page from 6 feet away? It doesn’t work.

NOT ALL STUDENTS/FAMILIES ARE STAYING IN A BUBBLE AND SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Oh, you went to a big city for New Years Eve? You went to Disney last week? You had your dad’s whole family over for a dinner party? You slept over how many different friends’ houses this weekend? Great.

BEING IN A CLASSROOM IS NOT THE SAME AS GOING TO THE GROCERY STORE! 

It would be if you were enclosed in the space the size of one store aisle with 20 other people with only one open window for 7 hours, 5 days a week. (And it’s not the cleaning aisle, so no unlimited supplies there!)

TEACHERS WANT TO BE WITH THEIR STUDENTS AND WANT TO BE ABLE TO TEACH NORMALLY!

We are not trying to take the easy way out. We are not trying to stay home because we don’t want to work. Any educator right now will tell you that they are doing more than quadruple the amount of work that we normally would do. We are wiling to do that so that we can protect our health, the health of our families and the health of our students. Not to mention the enormous amount of stress, anxiety and feelings of sadness and insignificance we are experiencing because we just feel like we are shouting into the wind.