Dark Sarcasm in the Classroom: The Occasional Education Thread: Back to… oh Hell.

Hi everyone.  Welcome to the occasional education thread!  This is a space for anyone interested in discussing the topic of education (particularly K-12, but whatevs) in whatever parts of the world we hail from.  Particularly, we’d like to give various stakeholders in education a chance to speak to the issues of the day.  (Parents, students, educators)  But even if you’re not in school or personally connected with schools at the moment, be welcome!

So most of us here are right now wondering what the hell the fall is going to look like.  We experienced “distance learning” in the spring, put together with string and duct tape in many cases, and we don’t want to go back to that if we don’t have to.

But I can tell you as an educator, and not even one in a super high-risk age group, I’m scared to death about going back to my classroom in the fall, even if it’s “blended” with some online days, some at-home days.  For one thing, the guidelines put out by our Governor (Whitmer, D-MI) for the various reopening plans depending on the “Phase” of reopening left out something pretty important, as noted and justified in this Bridge Magazine article:

https://www.bridgemi.com/talent-education/heres-why-michigan-wont-require-social-distancing-schools-fall

No requirement for social distancing.  Neither in the classroom, nor in the hallways or buses (where, honestly, I can’t see it possibly happening anyway)  I’ve heard rumblings of the “S-word” from other teachers if we’re required to go back to classrooms with students (many of whom will be maskless, because let’s be real here) and with insufficient safeguards.

I also, as someone with a 2-yo at home, understand how parents are being driven absolutely insane by their kids, and need to get back to work.  So the question for everyone here is:  How do we balance the needs of parents, students, and educators?  How do we re-open schools, and do so in a way which doesn’t increase the health risks for all those groups of people?

I’ve seen a proposal that teachers and other educators refuse to work in buildings until their county has gone 14 days without a new COVID case.  This will obviously be way too slow for many people, already frustrated with how much screens have taken over education in the recent past.  But (speaking as a teacher) I don’t know that I can come back in for anything less.  My older, at-risk parents are MY child care.  If I’m going into the high school, and I become a carrier, my daughter becomes a carrier, unless the school puts me up in a hotel room.  And my dad might die this year anyway.  Do I take him away from his only grandchild just so that other parents can get back to work?  (The answer is probably “no.”  I’d have to quit my job and good luck finding someone as good as me)

What do we do when students begin spreading the virus to their peers, and their peers’ parents?  We’ve all seen people being idiots about Corona in the news:  What happens when we take those situations, but everyone involved has a family they go back to?

I’ll turn things over to all of you; obviously feel free to agree or disagree with the opinions I set forth up there; remember that everyone here is speaking from an honest place, and disagreements should be respectful and civil.  See you in the comments.