Today I am making my final preparations for school to begin. I started teaching in 2004, after I retired from the Army, so this is my 16th Back to School! Not counting all the ones as a student! Only eleven more to go before retirement!
All the things that we do every year, we are doing now. We are getting ready for Open House. My classroom is spic and span and every inch has been cleaned and sanitized. I have got my “Welcome Back Speech” made. And, of course, my lesson plans are prepared.
Let me talk about my lesson plans. We have an 8th grade curriculum covering about 400 years of American history. Normally we have 36 weeks or so to cover it, at about an hour a day. This comes out to roughly 180 hours of instruction. And this year, due to Covid, I expect that we will have to write all those lesson plans at least twice. Once for in person instruction and once for on-line.
My point in all this is that SCHOOL IS STARTING. Students will be going back to class and learning. It may not be like we’ve always been used to, but it will be done. We are professional educators and we will make it happen, trust us.
Trust your local school boards, folks. They know what they’re doing. Kentucky is very proud of our system of “Local Control” where the state allows the local and county school boards to run their public schools as the school boards see fit. Yes, the state sets minimum graduation guidelines and so on. But the local school boards say how it gets done.
And this year many have chosen to start with distance learning. Some have started with in class instruction. Others have tried a mixture. The bottom line is, we elected our school boards and we have to trust that they did what they thought was best for their district. For the most part they’ve left options open that should work for everyone.
This is why it is important that you talk to our elected officials. Make your wishes known. And then once the decision is made, support them. And if you don’t like it, run for school board yourself next time.
Have a good year. Be healthy, wear your mask!