'Reinventing The Wheel'- Educators In The Midst of COVID-19
By: Mina Bilal
It is hard to believe that it has been more than five months since the US was hit by Coronavirus. It resulted in the shutdown of the entire country. Stay-at-home orders affected people of all ages and all walks of life. At a time when the businesses were closed, offices shut and entire communities in a lockdown, there were some among us who worked tirelessly for the comfort of others. Our educators and teachers were among them.
With the stay-in-shelter order suddenly put in place by the government, it left the educators in a lurch. Spring break was coming to an end and the teachers had to come up with an alternative to face-to- face teaching. They came across multiple challenges in these unprecedented times. They were forced to discontinue their normal and established mode of instruction, rapidly acquire skills, and transition into remote learning.
The teachers, across the globe, had to modify their teaching methods and adapt to remote learning while abandoning the traditional mode of instruction. It completely changed the education and teaching for the students and teachers. All teachers had to learn unfamiliar computer applications in record time while tailoring their lesson plans for digital platforms. The workload increased significantly. As a teacher from Mountain View High school, El Paso, Texas pointed out in their school publication (Oracle), “I am working much longer hours and feel as if I am reinventing the wheel on a daily basis.”
As lockdowns ease and schools start to reopen in the fall, it will follow with a new set of challenges. Many of the nation’s 3.5 million teachers feel that their safety and the safety of their families are at stake. It will be a struggle to adhere to some of the guidelines put up by CDC for schools, such as maintaining a 2-meter distance while walking in the hallways, physical distance in a class, keeping the school sanitized at all times etc. This puts them in a difficult position; close contact exposes them to the virus. A study from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that nearly 1 in 4 teachers are at greater risk of serious illness if infected with the coronavirus. Nevertheless, these teachers have risen above their personal issues to facilitate the education of the students.
The teachers have gone beyond what their duty requires which is why we implore you to write them letters to appreciate the way they have risen to the occasion. Let’s give them a glimmer of positivity during these difficult times.