Today marks the first day that teachers at my little private school returned to work (classes don’t begin until 20 August 2020). We’ve been going through protocol for returning to school and, boy, let me tell you: it’s going to be a doozy.
I’m already grating at the mask wearing, which we are to keep on unless we’re able to socially distance appropriately (such as being in our classrooms alone). I’m not arguing that they’re some kind of symbol of oppression (which, let’s face it, they kind of are); they’re just uncomfortable. It is hot in South Carolina, and will remain that way well into October. Masks stifle, literally and figuratively.
But I’m willing to wear one for the safety of my students and colleagues. The real challenge will be enforcing, a la the ubiquitous “Karens” of the world, social distancing and mask rules. That will be a Sisyphean task, especially with the younger students.
We’re also livestreaming our classes if we have a student who has elected to learn from home. Students will be required to sign in at the scheduled class time, and marked “present,” “absent,” and “tardy” as normal. That won’t be too difficult, but it will certainly add to the growing list of daily classroom administration tasks. We’ll also be disinfecting desks at every classroom change, which will add another small but onerous burden to the already-hectic change-of-classtime.
Needless to say, it will be an interesting school year. I’m praying that these new measures can be implemented relatively smoothly, but teachers and students are in for an adjustment—a borderline culture shock.
More to come. Say a prayer for teachers, students, administrators, and support personnel. We need your support!