The Changing Face of School

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It’s a sad thing when something like a pandemic can cause a fracture in a community the way it has in ours.

The best part of being an individual is the ability to have our own thoughts and feelings, and right now there is a lot of individuality being shown in Idaho Falls. A lot of parents, including me, have many emotions and opinions of what the education system should look like right now and some of it’s being spilled over in nasty ways. 

At the beginning of the summer, I felt like I was okay with my kids going back to school full time because they needed the interaction with their peers. My feelings as the start of the school year gets closer have changed a bit. I still think interaction is good and needed, but as I watch schools around the country reopening with not-so-great results, I’m starting to think that a hybrid option is a much better idea. Just as I’m coming around to this idea, schools are starting to change their plans and most want kids to go back to school full time. 

Don’t get me wrong, if I could stay home and homeschool my kids, I would in a heartbeat. That is just not something I am able to do. However, I don’t fault those who can. The division I see right now is one where some teachers are fighting to keep a hybrid model so that both teachers and students can stay safer. This might be a bit of extra work for some parents, and that includes me, but shouldn’t we want to put the safety of our children and teachers above everything else? On the other side are the working parents who seem to be upset because they don’t necessarily have a way to homeschool their kids because they are working all day.

The teachers who are fighting for a hybrid model are experiencing a lot of backlash here and that’s unfair. They’re being called lazy and unwilling to work. What I see are people who have dedicated their lives to helping our kids become better versions of themselves and we should support them.

After all, who better to understand what goes on in a classroom setting than a teacher?

I am lucky because I can understand all sides of this. I have teachers in my family and I work full time and am a single mom, so trying to juggle homeschooling for two kids will be quite a feat for me. Instead of trying to accommodate all these issues, let’s look at the bigger picture. We don’t know the long-term effects of Covid on kids. What we do know is that people who get Covid are seeing damage to their organs. Young people are suffering from heart attacks and strokes. Do we really want to risk this just so our kids can go to school full time? For me, there are just to many unknowns. 

I feel like there has to be a plan out there that will make everyone happy, we just haven’t come together to figure it out yet. Instead, we have let anger take over and once that happens nothing gets accomplished.