As a teacher, there is only so much you can do, but the bullying had gotten out of control, school shootings became so common that we just sort of accepted it, the fights were constant, the learning had sunk to such a low level, the classes were overcrowded, teachers were being bullied by students and parents, and creativity was stifled. Now Covid shut that all down in one fell swoop, school shootings are essentially non-existent. No longer do teachers now have to double as possible meat shields when a student goes on a rampage since they were pushed past their limit. No longer do we have thousands of overcrowded classes where students are crammed together like sardines and now people have become conscious of their hygiene once again.
I hope we will look back at Covid one day and realize, wow, that was super helpful to our system. Remote learning is still in its infancy stage and there are so many issues that need to be ironed out, but over time, this will become more mainstream. Homeschooling has been taking off as almost any news report can tell you. Learning pods of neighborhood kids are becoming common and tutoring centers are seeing an increase in student enrollment as now parents are looking for ways to avoid sending their children back to public schools and I can’t blame them, at all.
I have been pushing for alternatives for a long time now. The public education system has some great points but in so many cases, they are a huge drain on the city and state’s treasury. And this is coming from a teacher who worked 3 years at a charter school and 3 years in a public school along with tutoring jobs and coaching jobs. I never liked middle or high school at all, I could never figure out why but once I got older and accidentally, yes, accidentally became a teacher (a story for another time), I figured out why I disliked the school system so much. The main reason: It’s a huge focus on what you’re doing WRONG and rarely on what you’re doing RIGHT.
The system needs a reversal, a change, a destruction and rebuilding. Covid has brought that. Teachers don’t want to return back to school until it’s “safe”. But “safe” for who? The students or them? The schools were not safe in so many ways before but yet no one complained that much. Sometimes, I can’t blame the teachers for not wanting to go back. That’s why I resigned in January of this year (before Covid) with my last day on May 29th. I never looked back and now, with Covid, I am happier than ever with my decision.
Covid will bring the change we all needed but could never bring ourselves.