I went to my classroom one last time today, to get ready for Monday, the first day for kids. I couldn’t resist taking this picture of the items given to each teacher, by our school. The cleaner is some sort of “natural cleaner” from a local company. One face shield and one mask, along with a roll of paper towels, makes up my Covid protection! There is no Lysol to be found in our county, unless you just happen to be in a store the first 30 minutes within the time they shelve a new shipment.
We were given further instruction today, after one school in our county couldn’t open Monday (too many teachers with Covid or in quarantine due to exposure). We must wipe down the copy machines before using them, and wash our hands afterward. Teachers are not to eat lunch together in the teacher lounges. There is no mask mandate, and even teachers are divided over the seriousness of this virus.
This picture has circulated around social media, along with a very sad narrative about how school will be. Another teacher did a similar post, only changed her narrative to a more positive tone. The truth is, this is the protective equipment we will wear. I am still not sure how I feel about teaching little kids in this gear. I think we will all get use to it pretty quickly, but it looks surreal….dystopian…
The scenario reminds me of this show I binged on Netflix a while ago. The Earth entered a war rendering the planet dangerous for human life. Some people escaped into outer space and lived as a society. The time came when they needed to see if they could return to Earth….was it safe yet? To test it out, they sent 100 people to “test it out”.
I have had to plan with my family, how I will keep them safe when I start traveling to different schools and working in person with kids who may or may not be wearing face coverings. To start, I have put together individual supply kits for each student, consisting of a folder, composition book, supply pouch, pencils, erasers, highlighters, and post it notes. Gone are my days of shared supplies… When I get home, I will head straight for the shower. I will keep a mask with me at all times, and put it on if I am in the same room as other family members. I will only be working with a total of 7 students in person. The largest group will be three. The thing is, they will be coming to me from different classrooms, so in a sense, meeting with them will have the potential of exposing me to about 360 people! Our district really didn’t try very hard to minimize risk with pods of students or staggered schedules. I just pray that I don’t bring anything home to my parents. My dad is extremely medically fragile, and my mom is feisty but does have various health issues. My teen is worried that I will die if I get it. That is all a lot to put on my family. I wish our state would have just followed the cdc guidelines and recommendations about opening schools. Our county transmission rate is around 30, meaning the daily average over four days, is 30 positive cases per 100,000 people. The recommendation is less than 10. We are far from that mark, and we will pay the price.