It’s back to school time — or is it? I have questions about the process and no answers. Still, as a former primary school teacher, I have to offer my two bits worth.
First, I must say how much I admire the teachers who stepped up to the plate to try to make sure the children are safe if in-class teaching and learning occurs. How does that happen I ask you? Masks, hand sanitizer, washing hands with soap and social distancing.
I am aware that the class sizes will be small. Nothing like the 35 students of different grades in one room from my time in country schools.
Still, I have questions. How does the mask-wearing work? I agree that wearing a mask could and should prevent the virus from spreading. I am, however, having flashbacks to Grade 1 students. Lots of dandy runny noses. And I do mean runny noses. Boxes of tissue were passed around. From time to time a youngster would throw up royally on books etc. How does the mask work then?
I had an experience the other day when out and about. I cleaned my hands with the sanitizer provided at the door. I sneezed, then the sneezing did not stop. I abandoned my cart and went to my car to get rid of the reaction to sanitizer. I cleaned my hands and hoped more sneezing would not bring on a bladder leak issue.
What about social distancing? Younger students aren’t programmed to avoid others. A social connection is important to the children and to those of us who taught them. How do teachers say “stay in this or that space?”
Lining up children for a visit to the library or gym would seem out of character if they could not be close to their friends. I say all this and I have in my mind that the teachers and others will make every effort to keep the children safe.
But still, I have questions. What about the disinfectant stuff that is used on surfaces etc? Does that strong smell seep into the mask? Pictures are shown of custodial staff spraying all and sundry surfaces while wearing a full chemical protection suit. What about the child with the mask?
Maybe I have all this wrong. Probably have no idea how much effort will be made by the education professionals who will go all out to make this work. All of you have my respect and gratitude. On the virtual learning front, I have absolutely no idea how that works. Maybe it would be wise to ask questions about that.
Will some families try homeschooling? Tough for those parents who have to return to work. We’ll see how it goes. Let’s hope there are a few questions about the process. Call 250-846-5095 or email a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.