DW has 19 yrs teaching experience in elementary & middle school & is licensed in every core area. He's published 9 YA Novels.
President Biden, Governors, Mayors, and Parents
If you are going to demand teachers go back to the classroom whether or not you are willing to provide even the most basic safeguards and procedures to keep them safe from COVID-19, then at least give them a higher priority for the vaccine than they have now.
Thus far, in the school where I teach, the only teacher who has received their vaccination did so because she is over 65 years old. None of the rest of our staff qualifies under current guidelines. To my knowledge, no public school teachers in our district nor any surrounding district under the age of 65 have been vaccinated.
According to the Education Week website, no teachers in my home state of North Carolina are yet eligible for the vaccine. Considering, from anecdotal evidence I've gathered from those in the eligible groups, the state doesn't have enough for those who are eligible. There is no telling when teachers might be able to get vaccinated. The state government won't even hazard a guess.
Where teachers can and can't get the Covid vaccines.
- Where Teachers Are Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine
Education Week is tracking plans for vaccinating K-12 educators across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
20 States with no current estimate of when teachers will get vaccinated
According to the map provided by EW, there are at least 20 states that have no current timeline for making the Covid vaccine available to teachers. In 6 other states, only certain teachers are eligible for the vaccine. 2 states have no plans to ensure teachers receive the vaccine.
In the remaining 22 states, teachers are eligible, provided they can get to where the vaccine is and if there is vaccine there for them when they arrive.
But schools aren't major centers of transmission
It is true that current research shows that schools are not major centers of transition. This is an interesting statistic. Considering the number of schools that are remote learning only, on staggered schedules, or are fortunate enough to have the room to social distance students and are enforcing mask wearing, the findings might seem a little suspect compared to what will happen when schools open for full attendance with little to no social distancing, eroded mask discipline, no testing, etc., which, despite government assurance to the contrary, is the most likely scenario.
The Washington Post recently published an article downplaying the danger of Covid transmission in schools.
Schools may not be the transmission centers everyone fears.
- The Health 202: CDC-backed research finds schools aren't big coronavirus spreaders - The Wa
It adds to a growing mound of evidence that in-person instruction is safe.
If schools are safe from Covid, why prioritize teacher vaccinations?
First, schools aren't safe from Covid, they are relatively safer than other places where people gather. Second, no one knows what will happen when classrooms are full to bursting again as they were before the pandemic. Third, let's all acknowledge the real reason so many people want the schools open full-time: so their parents can go back to work and not be burdened looking after their own children all the time. With remote learning, parents feel overwhelmed by having to take a larger share of the responsibility for their students' education and for dealing with their children's behavior. Their exhausted from having to spend so much time with their own children. Bless their hearts.
And the kids, I am sure, long to get out from under their parents' feet.
Feel free to disagree with me on any or all of the above. As my dear gray-haired daddy says, opinions are like ... well, never mind what he used to say.
As always I remain,
The Exhausted Educator
© 2021 DW Davis
Ann Carr from SW England on February 15, 2021:
That's good. I'm waiting to hear about mine, but I get that because I'm old!
DW Davis (author) from Eastern NC on February 15, 2021:
Thank you, Ann.
We received word on Friday that teachers in our area will become eligible for the first shot on February 24th provided there is vaccine available.
Ann Carr from SW England on February 15, 2021:
There is a big drive here to have our teachers vaccinated as soon as possible. After all, they are in the front line. I agree they should be given theirs soon. I am a retired teacher, and, like Bill, really glad about that because it would drive me nuts to do all this online stuff with panache and good organisation! I think they're all wonderful. My grandchildren have superb teachers and both my daughters are teachers (one is a Teaching Assistant and one a driving instructor). Our teachers are required to be in school to teach those offspring of key-workers, those who are still obliged to work for whatever reason, for example, food providers, educationalists or providers of medication.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 09, 2021:
I was a teacher for quite a few years. I hear ya, and I have no doubt you are all frustrated and exhausted. I think it's time to return to school everywhere, with safeguards in place. One thing I know for sure: I'm glad I'm retired. :)