Schools are fundamental to our society. They create building blocks for comprehension and learning.
Our students attend schools across America every day. It is a routine that has existed for as long as I can remember. There was never, to my knowledge, any stoppage of school.
There is now.
We know the pandemic has caused this disruption. Some students are now staying home from school. Can you imagine as a child staying home from school? I can’t.
Virtual learning has now taken a front seat in the education marketplace. Students at all levels are spending their days at home in front of a computer. That is not a good way to learn. Some may disagree with my assertion.
During my professional life, I was a high school teacher. I say that with great pride.
Students need in-person classroom instruction. They need to see their teacher.
To be able to ask questions and to be spontaneous are attributes that enhance a student’s love for learning.
In-person learning also creates self-discipline and self-awareness. Students know they should behave themselves and they know their environmental limits.
In other words, you don’t act a fool in school.
Now with the Omicron variant spreading like wildfire, the alternative is virtual learning.
Joshua Goodman, an education economist at Boston University, is concerned about the adverse effects of COVID-19 on school enrollment.
Goodman said, “This was supposed to be a stabilizing year, where we could make up for lost time, but it hasn’t turned out that way.”
Burbio, a company that has been tracking COVID-related school closures, reported that 4,783 public schools decided not to offer in-person instruction one or more days of the week since January 6th.
These numbers clearly indicate the challenges brought on by this pandemic.
The Coronavirus and its variants have become bullish on America’s schools. It will stay that way for the foreseeable future.
Schools must now fight this illness with some new approaches, if they want in-person learning.
According to recent reports, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is now safe for children ages 5-11. This was determined by clinical trials with 3,000 children.
Critics are asking a few questions about children being vaccinated at such a young age.
The prevailing question is what are the side effects?
Reports say that the most common side effect is that children will have a sore arm for a few days. If that’s it, then children should be vaccinated.
Parents are having to make some difficult decisions regarding their children’s education.
As of December 5, 2021, almost 17% of children 5-11 years of age have received at least one dose of the vaccine. The findings show that the percentage reported represents 4.8 million out of roughly 28 million children in that age group.
Those numbers and percentages don’t bode well for us if we plan to get our children and grandchildren back to school.
To complicate matters even more, it seems as if more people in the North are getting their children vaccinated than those in the South. The South is lagging. Why is that?
So now, we are within the first month of the New Year. The schools in America are at risk. Students and teachers are at a crossroads.
Keeping students at home, when they have been accustomed to being at school, is going to be harmful to their growth and development. They need the socialization that school offers.
That’s not what I think, that’s what I know.
America, our children represent the future of this country. We hear that all the time. COVID-19 is testing us.
We can’t let it get an “A”.