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Keeping Students and Teachers Safe During COVID-19

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Keeping Students and Teachers Safe During COVID-19

Dec 09, 2020

While the classroom may look different this year, school is still happening. As a parent, you worry your child might get infected if they are attending in-person classes. But if your child is remote learning, you worry they are not fully absorbing the learning materials. Pediatrician Dr. Cindy Gellner talks about how to keep both students and teachers safe—in the classroom and at home—during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Episode Transcript

We are several months into this pandemic, and schools are back in session. For some, they're online only. For others, they're in person. And for some, they are a mix of both.

Several schools are closed because of outbreaks. So how do we keep this up, and how do we keep our kids and teachers safe? First, I think there are a lot of kids doing a terrific job wearing their masks. I have been really impressed with how kids as young as 18 months have kept their masks on. We need to praise them when they're following the rules and let them know we appreciate how they're helping to keep themselves, their friends, and their teachers healthy.

Speaking of teachers, I've spoken to several since before school started. They're doing such a hard job of trying to keep our kids educated and everyone safe. In many cases, they're doing double duty by preparing in-person lessons and online lessons. I'm not sure if this is something that could still happen, but I think it would be great if teachers would be able to wear masks that are clear over their mouths so the kids can see them talking. My son has a mask like that that is for his American Sign Language class. Also, another option is to make sure they have face shields, especially the elementary school teachers. As we all know, kids that age don't necessarily cover their noses or mouths when they sneeze.

With a few exceptions, kids love their teachers. I think that became even more apparent when distance learning started. I know my kids really miss certain teachers. They are working long, long hours. If your child is a distance learner, please make sure they are logging in and doing their work. I know my kids are doing in-person, four days a week, and they are struggling with keeping up with all of the assignments given to them. It seems like some teachers are overloading them, but I think they're just trying to get as much in as possible in case the kids get sick. If kids are doing distance only, there's a tendency to get a little further behind because you don't have that in-person accountability. I've heard that phrase from a lot of parents whose kids are doing distance learning.

The only thing we know for sure is that this situation isn't going away anytime soon. We all need to adjust and figure out what works best for our kids and their teachers to keep them both safe, keep kids on the path of getting their education, and keep the teachers from burning out.