Open schools! Virtual learning! Teachers can’t be Collateral Damage in War to Reopen
Contributed By: Travis J. Vanden Heuvel 8/1/2020
Open schools! Continue remote/virtual learning! Regardless of which strategy prevails, it’s our collective responsibility to ensure that educators aren’t collateral damage as this battle intensifies.
“Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability,
no understanding. The highest form of knowledge is empathy, for it requires
us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound
purpose larger than the self-kind of understanding.”
With the 2020-2021 academic year upon us, and despite the fact that we’ve had several months to discern reopening options, there are still a number of questions that we don’t have the answers for. As the start of the school year quickly approaches, many of us have seen our stress and anxiety levels increase…and our patience wear thin. As if the decision to open/reopen schools wasn’t difficult enough already, it has since become exponentially more complex due to politically-charged rhetoric and a lack of consensus on the best way to move forward. Unless we are an elected official, or take time to reach out to our representatives, many of us might feel like we aren't able to influence the decisions to open/reopen schools. While that might be true to a certain degree, we ALL have the power – and an awesome opportunity – to support the educators in our communities; the vast majority of whom have dedicated their lives to teaching our children.
If/when school buildings reopen, life will be different and difficult. If/when our children are required to learn remotely, life will be different and difficult. No matter which path we take, there are going to be growing pains, obstacles, and setbacks. Like always, we should find comfort, and have faith, in knowing that our schools – and our teachers – are always keeping the best interests of our children in mind when they make decisions.
As we enter into this new school year, let us all remember the men and women who have their “feet on the streets,” and who have always focused on doing anything and everything to keep their students (our children) safe. Political affiliation, position on mask wearing, physical geography, race, etc. don’t prevent us from showing empathy and extending grace to educators and schools in our communities who are getting caught in the cross-hairs.
The Bottom Line:
The men and women whom we've been entrusted to teach and care for our children are not only worthy of our respect and admiration, they've demonstrated their value and worth continuously over the course of human history.
Regardless of where you stand on this issue, it's my prayer that you consider the power of your words. Your children will see/hear what you say about schools reopening. Teachers and staff will see/hear what you have to say about schools reopening. Be kind. We are all in this together!
Travis J. Vanden Heuvel is the Chief Executive Officer of TitleTown Publishing and the Publisher of Peregrino Press. Travis is a results-oriented business executive who prides himself on his ability to form and develop meaningful relationships with others. A seasoned storyteller and #1 Amazon Bestselling author, Travis has more than a decade of sales, marketing, and management experience in both the public and private sectors.