To the editor:
I am a teacher. I studied many years to get two degrees and multiple certificates so I could teach our children how to read and write. That's what I signed on to do. Then, you asked me to be a parent and teach them character, ethics, and morals and I did. Then, you asked me to be a social worker and teach them about suicide, online safety, bullying, to watch for signs of physical, mental, and sexual abuse and I did. Then you asked me to be a police officer and taught me how to identify gang behavior and taught me how to keep students safe in an active shooter situation, up to and including, using myself as a human shield if necessary and I did. Now, you're asking me to be a health care worker and to wear a mask, face shield, and gloves, and you give me a bottle of hand sanitizer so that I can teach our children in the midst of a pandemic because parents can't provide day care, are tired of having kids at home, feel socialization with friends is more important than safety, or simply don't really care. What will you expect of teachers next and when will the "ask" be too much? When teachers express concern over - heaven forbid - their own safety and the safety of their families, we are told to adapt, to retire, or to quit. We're in this together you say ... are we?