Back to school: an educator’s perspective

"We are still the loving, caring, passionate teachers that were here in March"

It is safe to say this year’s return to the classroom is much more anxiety-inducing than in years previous, but not just for parents.

A local educator tells Barrie 360 they are feeling it too.

The educator asked to remain anonymous, but hopes parents will trust them when they say they’re trying. “Sometimes I feel people don’t realize how much goes behind the behind the closed doors to get a classroom set up,” they said. “We do it because we want to create a safe, colorful, welcoming environment for our students.”

This teacher says this year is all the more difficult, not just because of the uncertainty over the return-to-school plan, but due to parents’ concerns as well. “the biggest challenge that I’m facing right now is because of everyone’s hesitation,” they said. “My class list is changing every single day. I started with 26, I was down to 21. If the government decides to collapse classes, I could be up to 32.”

“The problem with that fluidity, I don’t know if, honestly, if our school boards could even do anything more than they’re trying to do to prevent that, because it’s really relying on parents’ choice.”

Adding to many parents’ frustration this year is that none of this is written in stone, and much of it could change day by day. This educator hopes everyone gets on the same page soon. “I believe it’s important that we are united front to help the anxieties of our parents.”

“We recognize and empathize with their hesitation of sending their children, and a lot of us teachers view our own class children as our own,” they added. “It will be different than what they’re used to, but we are still the loving, caring, passionate teachers that were here in March and we are looking forward to seeing them.”