Education in the COVID era

OPINION — COVID is making a strong attempt to alter the course of education. Educators are fighting to restore some sense of normalcy to a proven process of success. It is a tough fight. Things are not the same.  Educators are stretched, stressed and doing the best they can with the circumstances presented to each of them.

The daily notifications to parents and community on COVID cases gives a false impression that nothing normal happens. In the COVID era education is different, but teaching and learning is still taking place. What is most encouraging is the fact that kids want to be in school. School is their sense of normalcy.  Their place to see friends in a safe environment.

As the state continues to add cases, education can remain the stable factor in our youth’s life. We need to continue to prioritize and stress the importance of being in school. Hopefully that means being in school in person. Even if we are forced to educate virtually, the importance does not change.  Teaching and learning must take place. Students deserve nothing less.

The support and continued investment in the education of SHS students has never been more important. We must continue to stress educational outcomes, reduce inequities, and offer students every opportunity we can to excel. Students are the future. Society must do everything we can to assure their success.

Our school needs to remain the center of the community. School employees make up a significant demographic of our community. Everyone needs to continue to step up and find ways and resources to guarantee that the educational process continues.

The ties that bind children and families to schools have never been more important. At the same time, they have never been more strained. The inability of educators to teach and reach all students in new and effective ways regardless of where or how the student is learning should be concerning.  Currently some teachers have nearly the same number of students not in class that are in class. That is difficult, especially in classes that involve hands on and lab work.  Teachers were born to adjust. Teachers are able to change daily if needed. Teachers are the true professionals.

Prioritizing meaningful school work that will enhance teaching and learning for students in the building as well as those who are forced to learn virtually is something no one has had to do in any of their teaching careers. Few, if any, teachers have ever been trained to do so. But, each is adapting and doing things that most of the country thought was never possible. Teachers teach----kids learn. Nothing is more important.

Bottom line – kids are learning. Kids are involved. Kids remain excited. Kids don’t want to go back to last March, April and May’s virtual learning.

Please do your part to keep students in school. Many mitigation factors are in place Monday through Friday 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. every school day. Families must control the rest of the time. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Limit contact with others as much as possible. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people. Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.

Make wise choices. Do everything possible to keep yourself and your kids healthy. Stay active, get adequate sleep, eat well balanced meals, cope with stress effectively and most importantly, use this time to stay connected with your family. Preferably away from others!!

“Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands” ~Jeff Cooper

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