Apparently “we’re all in this together” has a shelf life that ends with wearing face masks and reopening in-person schools. Because back in March when school buildings closed and moved to remote learning, sidewalks were lined with chalk messages of togetherness. Parents who were suddenly thrust into crisis learning displayed heartfelt signs of appreciation for their kids’ teachers. And for a brief moment, everyone seemed to come together to support each other.
But all that “in this togetherness” has been blown to shreds. Folks disregard face masks guidance because they “don’t like it.” Folks are flocking to bars and restaurants because they’re sick of sitting at home. And government officials and leaders have decided that instead of listening to the science, they are going to send students and teachers into the lions’ den of in-person school.
It’s mind-boggling and maddening and downright terrifying. When schools went to remote learning back in March, there were about 20,000 new cases a day. On July 11, there were more than 66,000 cases in a single day. Yet many school districts across the country are planning to resume in-person education in August or September, despite that fact that were are affirmatively less safe than we were when they closed. Like face masks, sending kids back into classroom settings has become a political issue. We aren’t in this together at all. And in all the debates, the voices of teachers are either drowned out or disregarded.
But here’s what teachers really think about going back to school in the midst of a pandemic.
Here…here is why teachers are scared. pic.twitter.com/SFbpqBWpgr
— Dave Gorman (@_davegorman) July 12, 2020
They are sick of getting the ass-end of the stick.
So baseball players will get tested for COVID-19 every two days. How often will teachers and students be tested?
— Katie Keier (@bluskyz) July 5, 2020
Whether it's gun violence or a pandemic, teachers are on the front lines and bad decisions are made without our input. Sorry kids, they're not asking you, either…. #ReopeningSchools
— Abbey Clements (@abbeyclements) July 9, 2020
And sick of the hypocrisy too.
If school boards are still meeting remotely to discuss kids going back to school — kids probably shouldn’t be going back to school in person only a few weeks from now.
School boards should be just as concerned about student and teacher safety as their own.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) July 8, 2020
They are tired of being forced to “take one for the team.”
Honestly, I’m tired.
I’m tired of continuing to uphold this narrative that teachers are supposed to give, give, give until we break.
Going back to school in the fall feels unsafe and wrong.
— Paul Emerich France (he/him) (@paul_emerich) July 8, 2020
America needs to put up or shut up.
New plan: Everyone advocating for full school re-opening with no plan nor budget for proper supports and resources, must volunteer for one month of substitute teaching duty (to fill the inevitable shortage when teachers must self quarantine or are sick when exposed). Every. One.
— Colleen Cruz (@colleen_cruz) July 11, 2020
And why are we not talking about how many teachers are at a higher risk?
📍30% of US teachers are over 50.
📍64% of #COVID19 deaths in the US are people over 50.
— Weston Kieschnick #BoldSchool (@Wes_Kieschnick) July 9, 2020
They are worried about their own lives…
The fact that going back to school in a month has encouraged me to finally finalize a will…
— Wait…what? 😒 (@TeachingHS) July 12, 2020
Or their families’ lives.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. As schools grapple w decisions about reopening buildings, there’s a major concern not being talked about: teachers will be put in the position of choosing between their careers & keeping high risk family members safe. 1/ #edchat #teach
— Miss Nikki 📚 (@MissNikkiIn5th) July 6, 2020
As a young, healthy teacher, I am not afraid of COVID killing me. It's the potential for contracting a debilitating illness (w/ long term chronic effects) for 6 weeks that isolates me from my family & puts them at medical & financial risk that keeps me up at night.
— Nick Covington (@CovingtonAHS) July 8, 2020
Because the risks are very real.
— Toby Price (@jedipadmaster) July 11, 2020
Even when schools aren’t physically open, teachers are doing a whole lot of teaching.
Could we stop saying “reopen schools” and instead say “reopen school buildings”? Because there were a lot of us teaching and guiding student learning, coaching, giving feedback…for months after buildings closed.
— Jennifer Ansbach (@JenAnsbach) July 9, 2020
And let’s be real about what this all will look like.
LAUGHING SO HARD THAT PEOPLE SEEM TO THINK WE WILL ACTUALLY HAVE SUBS NEXT YEAR
— Katie Eustis (@katie_eustis) July 10, 2020
Bottom line: Teachers are scared, confused, and worried.
— Mrs R .Fernandes (@roma45363551) July 10, 2020
For good reason.