This podcast will emphasize the importance of health and safety due to Covid-19 while preparing for back to school.
[0:00] So if you’re anything like me, you’re already starting to think about going back to school and getting prepared but this year, obviously, because of COVID, it feels very very different.
[0:34] I’m sure like many of you, I’ve already been on so many meetings to decide what models, what protocols, etcetera will be determined when we return. Just about every discussion I’m on pertains to the students. How are we going to disinfect equipment? How are we going to space them out? How are we going to maintain social distancing and disinfecting and teaching in this new way? All of this certainly needs to be the forefront of the discussions, keeping the students safe?
[1:04] That’s what we do as teachers, but what I’m not hearing a lot of discussion about is the safety and well being of us teachers. That’s a little bit of a concern for me when I’m starting to decide now what’s going to be best for my students. What’s gonna be best for myself, my family, etcetera. So really, the purpose of this podcast is to remind all of us that we count. We need to properly prepare for the possibility of being face-to-face with our students and other staff members in the fall and we have to keep our health as the most important factor. Now our district is going over three possibilities of models to return: we could either be face-to-face, or we have a choice to go a hybrid model, where half (of students are) on campus and half at home, or if you choose we can even go completely remote. I want to give my district due diligence and fairness here to say we do have these options, but you know, as a teacher, I just can’t wait to get face-to-face with my students. I need to be in the gym. I need to be interacting with them, but we all need to really take this seriously. We need to be thoughtful this summer and think through, how is that going to look? What precautions do we need to take?
[2:25] So right now, I’m in the planning stages of getting myself prepared and some things that I’m going to consider now, I don’t have anything mapped out, I don’t have anything decided. Every day here in Arizona, the numbers are, changing the cases are changing and really I’m just forced right now to take it day by day. So I’ve made a little list of some things that I’ve jotted down that are things that I’m going to consider when I prepare to go back to school.
[2:56] For example, masks. Obviously, we’re going to be required to wear masks and so will all of our students and I know our district is providing those for us, but, you know, what about having extra ones? How am I washing them? What is going to be my expectations for the students who don’t have masks or forgot them at home? So these are all the things I’m just swirling through my head right now. What about gloves? What about the locker rooms? From what I’m kind of gathering right now is our locker rooms are going to be off-limits, and the students will merely just report to the different PE teachers in their teaching space so with comes that students won’t be dressing out. Will I require tennis shoes or not tennis shoes?
[3:39] Another thing I’m thinking about is entrances and exits where you know, to keep the students away from each other so we don’t pile up in bottleneck and have lots of people together in a closed facility. Ventilation is something I’m thinking about. Do I opened the gym doors and get some air flowing through their or get some fans in there. Social distancing is going to be a big issue in PE. Thank God we have poly spots. That’s gonna be the savior this semester. Equipment, what can we use? What can we not use? How are we going to disinfect that stuff? So all of this is kind of just being planned out, thought about. I’m sure all of you are doing the exact same thing. My next podcast hopefully, I’ll have some concrete systems in place and models in place, and that’s what I’m gonna talk about next is what exactly are we planning to do out here in Arizona at Mesa High School?
[4:37] So in the meantime, keep brainstorming, keep thinking, but like I said, make sure that you count you’re thinking about yourself and your safety for you and your family as well and obviously the well being and safety of our students. And I know we’ll get through this together. So hang in there everybody. Take care.