Education is of extreme importance to every nation. Students learn from books and how people think freely and independently after receiving the facts necessary to make decisions. Therefore, teachers are of far greater importance to society than the CEOs of corporations or the men and women elected to serve in Washington. There can be no free society without free thought.
Most people do not remember a time when teachers received everything they needed to be effective in the classroom. Never have they been paid wages that represent their value to society. Instead, the city, state, and federal governments once again place profits ahead of the needs of the nation’s people. Never have they been paid wages that represent their value to society. Instead, the city, state, and federal governments once again place profits ahead of the needs of the nation’s people.
In 2022 teachers are facing one of their most significant challenges.
The average teacher is responsible for 21.4 students. Therefore, if a teacher becomes infected with COVID-19, they could pass the virus onto their entire classroom. Likewise, if one student is infected, they could infect fellow students and teachers.
Teachers are often referred to as “having two families,” the one with whom they share their homes and the children in their classroom. However, a recent study of K-12 teachers revealed their anxieties and anxieties connected to their relationships with students and parents have escalated during the pandemic.
Dr. Tim Pressley is, a psychology professor who was part of the study, wrote:
The results are important for schools and researchers to consider when it comes to the impact of COVID-19 on teachers. It’s also important for schools and education leaders to understand the level of anxiety teachers are experiencing as they make plans for the coming school year and, sadly, for potential pandemics to come.
The battle lines between pro and anti-vaccine Americans are clear, which is the primary source of anxiety among educators. Some parents continue their self-serving demand that masking requirements be removed. Unfortunately, other elementary school teachers believe that they should remain in force. This resulted in three-quarters of the nation’s schools reporting a crippling staff shortage as teachers leave the classroom.
In truth, the two sides of this argument are composed of Americans who choose to do the right thing. On the other, arrogant and self-righteous men and women who believe their personal “rights” outweigh the welfare of the many.
America could survive losing half of its corporate executives, half of its government, and even half of its military forces. However, the people cannot survive losing one-half of the educators because of unsafe working conditions. Although their pay is inadequate and their hours long and demanding, they have remained, but this may be the final straw.
The solution is simple: put the welfare of the majority ahead of the complaints of the few. Unfortunately, multiple challenges to Constitutional rights were decided in favor of the many. This should always be the rule of law.
In the 21st century, not much is asked of the American people. They expect their government to care for them without requiring their involvement. In this national crisis, it seems little to ask to do what is right for fellow Americans. The vaccine is safe and free, but more importantly, asking everyone, including children, to wear masks indoors and in large gatherings seems like a tiny request.
Op-ed by James Turnage
Daily Kos: Teachers flee classrooms in droves to avoid Covid, Republican policies, and racist parents
CNU: Confirming What We Feared: COVID is Tough on Teachers; by Jim Hanchett
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of US Department of Education’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Paradox 56’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License