Our school districts are all grappling with how or if they open this year. So far, it just looks to me as though the districts are applying old-fashioned notions of how schools should function while not seeming to notice we are all in the 21st century, and with COVID-19 still rampant across the country, we have an opportunity to actually design significant changes to schooling.
We cannot sacrifice our kids and their teachers to this virus simply to provide babysitting for parents. This notion of schools as baby-sitters is not a valid reason for opening schools. It is not a valid reason to risk infection and death to our children and their teachers.
New models of education exist and have found success in educating our children to become critical thinkers, collaborative learners and lifelong learners. These models don’t rely on buildings but rather on teachers modifying lessons to project-based leaning and blending online learning to keep all safe. Have our school districts examined these options?
Think of the money saved if you don’t need buses or building maintenance. Think of this money going directly to higher salaries for teachers so they have the level of income to actually afford to stay in teaching. Think of the wonderful education our kids deserve.
This can work and can build a strong education for all.