Learning & Teaching
A Reflection by Mia Klinger. September 2020
The obstacles to returning to classrooms are not teachers and increasing the number of measures in the name of accountability, like having school personnel work from empty classrooms, neither improve teaching nor keep children safer.
Aging school buildings with their windows stuck shut for years cannot meet the demands of this moment.
This is not about teachers or their commitment to their work.
COVID-19 is the issue and districts must now reckon with the many inequalities that it lays bare.
Private schools are finding solutions; families with means are schooling through pods or finding the childcare support that allows parents to work. For most of our students, these are not options.
Some districts have been upfront about the difficulties maintaining the six feet of spacing between students that are needed to stay healthy, and they will struggle with children who cannot show compliance to this or other requirements because they are traumatized and reactive.
Our children are flooded by the fears of their adults- caregivers and teachers, who cannot provide the message that underscores all effective teaching, "You are safe here."
Outdoor space is only a temporary solution in New England, but temporary is not a waste of time or energy.
I had children in person in camp this summer. They were desperate for group experiences and for engagement. I was equally in need of their laughter, their energy, and the chance to do what I love- teach!