A necessity for teachers

Mary Clare Bean

A workplace, no matter what setting that is, should be a safe environment for every single employee. This year that needs to be one of the top priorities in school and it is not right now. 

After Governor Reynolds came out with the proclamation that all schools need to offer the option of being fully in person, every teacher probably had a tiny moment of relief to finally have all their kids back but were also very overwhelmed with all the new duties to make their classrooms a safe place for them and the students. 

Each teacher at Xavier had the difficult task to fit anywhere from 20-32 students all at the preferred distance of six feet in a very limited space. It was such a difficult task that the Xavier teachers had to take a day “off” to figure out how that could possibly work. While they did their very best with the space they had to work with, I would say there are little to no seats that are fully the six feet apart. 

For some, the six feet couldn’t be any less important to some students, but for others that is the only thing keeping them sane in this difficult time. So not only do we have to take the students’ feelings into consideration but also the teachers. 

The teachers, some more than others, are very on edge with the virus. They may have kids at home with lung issues or a weak immune system or they may live or visit their parents or in-laws a lot. This is all the more reason for them to receive the vaccine. I think if our teachers at Xavier had the chance to get a vaccine for COVID-19 sooner the whole school and not just the students would be more at ease. As of right now, the teachers are scheduled to receive it next week… a couple weeks after we’ve been fully in person.

However, with the possible side effects of the vaccine some teachers may take a day off for them to recover if needed. If they would’ve scheduled a time during the very start of the weekend so the teachers would have the whole weekend to stay home and recover if needed. Another thing is how do the teachers know if all their colleagues got the vaccine? If they didn’t they are still living with the fear of having a friend or colleague get sick with COVID-19.

I do know that a few teachers have actually traveled anywhere from an hour to a couple of hours to get their vaccine. Which I believe is a very good and bad thing. Good that they actually received the vaccine but bad that they had to travel that far to get something they should have gotten sooner. The distribution of the actual vaccine could have been so much better with the fact that the vaccine has been available to them for quite some time but they have not been able to get it at all. I know from a story from one of my teachers that their appointments are getting canceled. It has something to do with the demographics and if they don’t hand out enough vaccines to the elderly, their supply of the vaccine will no longer be available to them. Which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, why can’t the government supply vaccines to everyone under the little umbrella of necessity?

This whole year has been a challenge for everyone in the school, but finally having everyone in the school for the first time in almost a year is a great thing and the teachers realize this. This year has reinforced and grown my respect for any school teacher, principals, receptionists and everyone behind the scenes. The only good thing Covid-19 has done for us is brought us together stronger than ever. Although the year could’ve been handled better, especially in the vaccine portion of it, I think the teachers and staff here at Xavier have gone above and beyond in handling this whole mess of a year it’s been.