As teachers head back to school — which might look like returning to in-person instruction, facilitating distance learning full time, or a hybrid of the two — they’ll be asked to take on challenges like never before. Teachers will be acting as public health officials, therapists, social workers, and more as they help students and families adjust to an uncertain learning environment. Because of these changes, teachers will need our support more than ever.
While many things about the upcoming school year are unknown, we’re beginning to see how the year might shape up and what students and teachers will need to be successful.
Resources and safety are top concerns for teachers
For students and teachers returning to the classroom, health and safety is the biggest priority. The AASA and ASBO released this one pager outlining the cost of resuming in person instruction this fall. The organization estimates that each school district will need an average of $1.8 million to support the costs associated with social distancing. Some anticipated costs associated with in person instruction include face masks, PPE, sanitizer, seating, and classroom basics.
Beginning in March, teachers began requesting resources to facilitate distance learning. By looking at what teachers requested most, we can anticipate what teachers will need over this next school year to keep students learning, wherever they are.
Schools are taking a variety of approaches to reopening, and many are still making decisions
The coronavirus pandemic has affected every community differently, and students will face a range of possible back-to-school situations. Early results from a survey DonorsChoose conducted in late July indicate the range of ways students will learn this fall.
Los Angeles Unified, Sacramento Public Schools, San Diego Unified, along with schools in Nashville, Atlanta, Phoenix, and other California cities have announced that they would start the school year with online instruction.
Alternately, there are growing concerns that in person schooling could put the health of 1 in 4 teachers who are considered at risk in jeopardy. Without a safe and comprehensive back to school plan, some teachers are considering the possibility of a strike. The American Federation of Teachers is advising members on how they can use their rights under federal law to resist re-opening.
How we tackle the education challenges over the next year will affect how a generation of students learn. We’re passionate about supporting teachers across the country as they keep their students learning, no matter where they are.