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What Teachers Are Thinking and Feeling About Returning To School This Year

Summer is coming to an end, so we took to our community and asked educators to share both their hopes and concerns about returning for the 2020/2021 school year. This is what they had to say.

Emotions Are High 

Most teachers admit that they feel a mix of emotions about returning to school:

“I'm excited and nervous at the same time."
"The children have missed each other so much and it will be good for them (and me!) to get back to a more normal routine."
"The virus hasn’t gone away and I’m nervous about a second wave shutting everything down again.”

Loving What They Do

While there are many uncertainties, educators are expressing their excitement as well: 

“I am looking forward to returning to the job and the children that I love.”  
“I'm looking forward to seeing my students, even if it is just for two days a week. It was really hard this spring when I couldn't see students face-to-face."
“I'm excited to see what educators throughout our country will do to navigate this unique time, letting everyone know how creative and important educators are.”

CDC Guidelines

When it comes to the CDC’s recommended guidelines, most teachers seem to agree that they are appropriate:

“As a science teacher and advocate for science, I respect the recommendations of the CDC. I just want to keep everyone healthy so we can all enjoy the school year.”
"I think the greatest emphasis should be on proper hygiene and nutrition, safe spacing, and possibly masking until things are truly dying down. I would use fewer chemicals."
“From what I’ve seen of the CDC guidelines, I’m fine with them. The point is to help keep people safe, and safety is multifaceted."

Funding For Educators 

Another point educators seem to agree on is that there needs to be more funding for education:

“In a dream world, teachers would be more fairly compensated for their time." 
"We are putting ourselves and families at greater risk for the greater good. People are realizing just how important teachers are, and it would be nice for our salaries to reflect that.” 
“There is not enough funding for teacher’s pay, physical safety, or for necessary resources like new devices, internet access at home, and more.”

Teaching And Parenting

Many educators say that this school year isn’t just about adjusting professionally, but about adjusting at home as well:

“We will have to navigate educating our five-year-old and getting care for our two-year-old. It is a big stressor trying to determine care for both and still maintain being an educator at a high level.” 
“Personally, I have a hard time separating work and parenting when they're both taking place in my house.” 
“The bigger challenge for us will be that we will have to start distancing from the grandparents again because our exposure will increase exponentially and we cannot risk exposing them.” 

Students will not be the only ones learning this year; this is going to be a team effort. The truth is, we are all stretching to adapt, accept, and grow the best we can. And while there are many thoughts and opinions about how children will resume their learning this fall, one thing is for sure: we are all in this together.

_____________


Click here for a free back to school printable booklet to help children feel safe and to share their feelings about returning to school this year whether they are homeschooling, learning from home, and/or heading back to the classroom.

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