A Virtual Apple for the Teacher [PHIL-OSOPHY]
The meaning of an apple for the teacher is about to ripen. The reason is this pandemic is forcing educators to fundamentally rethink how we educate students going forward. But first thing's first, as they say. Experts agree, schools will have to figure out what the student's academic level is, because some scholars will need more catch up than others.
I've listed some of the possible changes you should get familiar with. New direction from the feds will eliminate a lot of student movement, scrub field trips and meals could be served at their desks. If a school bus holds about 60 students, cut that number down to about 15, and your guess is as good as mine how many more buses would be required. Plus how many more dollars would also be needed to pay for them?
Before boarding the bus or entering school, students and teachers will submit to temperature and symptom checks. Teachers and staff considered high risk will be allowed to work remotely. If teachers will have in-person and online learning, will districts have to hire more teachers? Some other changes might include students alternating days at home with days in school. What are working parents supposed to do?
It goes without saying that everyone will be required to wear face masks. So what if the kids arrive without a mask? I'm told that we'll have to take away at least a half-hour every day for additional hand washing. Good luck trying to keep first graders from touching one another.
Under current requirements, we don't have enough space, so we'd have to cut down the size of classes. So are we going to have to split the day into morning and afternoon shifts? Perhaps lengthen the school day?
This only skims the surface. And the big question is how we're going to pay for any changes at a time school budgets will probably face cuts? We'll definitely need federal funding.
As you can see, I have many more questions than answers. Our local school committees will need our ideas and support now more than ever.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.