There’s a serious dilemma plaguing teachers around the country. Many are grappling with whether or not to give up their jobs. Teaching isn’t just a job, however. It’s a career that takes continuous effort, evolution, and an endless amount of compassion. Many of our own kids learn these qualities from the skillful instructors in their lives just as much as they learn them at home.
Yet teachers are walking away from years dedicated to educating themselves and, in turn, our kids. Faced with the possibility of going back to in-person teaching, many are choosing retirement when possible. Others without that option are looking at career changes. So many are exploring any possibility that gets them off the hook this year. In some cases, they’re just quitting.
The reason is clear. Many teachers are uncomfortable with a return to in-person learning. They don’t feel it’s safe for themselves, their students, and the countless other people it takes to make a school operate from day to day.
Texas teachers are particularly feeling that predicament. In a state too large for a single plan to implement across the board, schools and school districts are scrambling to make things work. These teachers want to get back to classrooms where they’re able to truly engage their students. They want to get back to what they know. That desire comes with great risk, as old infrastructures and systemic failings have made it impossible for some schools to reopen safely in time for fall.
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