Back to School

Not the Rodney Dangerfield movie, this post concerns what it will be like for students going back after the Covid-19 outbreak.  Since the coronavirus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (generated through coughing and sneezing) and individuals can also be infected from touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching their face (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth), precautions must be taken to protect everyone.  9 out of 10 children are out of school worldwide and a school shutdown on this scale has never been seen before.  Distance learning is only an option for those students that have computers and Internet access.  Normally schoolchildren commonly experience learning setbacks every year over their summer vacation which tends to wipe out one or two months of their academic growth, but this virus is unprecedented and it is likely to have major and long-lasting implications on the K-12 education system.

When schools eventually reopen it will be in a different place with respect to where and how kids will learn.  All of the schools were shutdown without a plan being in place for students to keep up with their coursework at home, so will they all have to repeat a grade?  This will probably only happen to the low-income, low-performing elementary students whose parents are not involved with their studies, but every student will be missing something.  Not every teacher has the knowledge, ability and qualifications to effectively teach online courses and some of the veterans that are more set in their ways may feel ambivalent about this type of setting.

A number of public health officials have indicated that they expect schools will likely be able to reopen this fall.  Schools connect students with peers and mentors, channel youthful energy into productive pursuits, teach essential academic skills and knowledge, and give overwhelmed parents room to breathe and work.  I am sure that somebody has already developed an App so that teachers can take roll call for students in a virtual classroom setting, but they may need many more tools to get their job done properly.  The importance of temperature checks cannot be understated and PPE requirements must be put in place, but I imagine that scenarios will need to be developed for every time a child is coughing in class.

The school nurse will need to be wired for more children being sent to them.  The school cafeteria may be a thing of the past as students might be eating their lunches inside of the classrooms.  I guess that more teachers will be required, especially is class size is going to be reduced, so that students can maintain proper distancing.  We are in uncharted waters, so some type of maneuver will have to be put in place to protect the students that go to school by bus.  We still don’t know enough about this pandemic to predict what will happen when the schools reopen and who will be at fault if a student get ill while in school.  We will all cherish the days before this virus changed everything and the frequent handwashing and sanitation procedures that will require us to wipe down all of the glass, metal, plastic and wood surfaces on a daily basis.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Maneuver, for the Daily Spur prompt – Fault, for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt – Cherish, for FOWC with Fandango – Ambivalent, for May Writing Prompts – Wired for more, for Ragtag Community – Call, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Tools Wood Job and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Understated.

18 thoughts on “Back to School

  1. Excellent post, Jim. It’s going to be a challenge, indeed. I am not a parent but I can imagine going back to school will be worrisome for parents, teachers, and the children. Thank you for participating,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I retired from teaching last June. My spouse teaches high school. He sees 180 students a day. We are both compromised medically. I fear for his returning to school in the fall. I fear my days will be spent in fear for him and us. He misses the contact with the kids, and I get that, but I am curious what safety measures they will take.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was watching CNN this morning and the report said that Cambridge university would not be holding any classes in person, that they would only be online for the next semester. Then a dean for a US university, I forget which one said that they have installed plexiglass barriers for all teachers to protect them from students.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel we are opening the schools too early in England (different times in other parts of the UK).
    Nursery schools are set to re-open first as early as June 1st. Most schools have a six-week Summer break in July anyway, so why not wait until then?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Keeping children away from each other is going to be a chore…not their nature.
    Some colleges will be starting back…that shouldn’t be as big of a problem….it depends though on if this stuff comes back with a vengeance. We all could be home again.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think they should go back. Businesses is one thing but you are right…how the hell are they going to avoid not getting it from children? Getting everyone tested would help.

        Liked by 1 person

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