We have all experienced something that most people in the last 100 years never thought would happen. We’ve all now experienced shutdowns, record unemployment, political turmoil and a lot of other things that I’m sure we would all rather have done without. Now that we are here, I’d like to voice concern about something I know a lot of people are talking about. The education of our future leaders and the importance of a proper education.
First, let’s discuss a proper education. There are a lot of parents out there that will be opting for homeschooling for the first time. Now, I’d like to point out that there are many many parents that I personally know are completely able to educate their children effectively. On the flip side, there are many concerned parents out there that will not be able to educate their children appropriately. A lot of us learned how to do things correctly by our teachers but to regurgitate this to our children isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially for the younger crowd that is in a critical learning stage. These students need to learn their letter sounds properly, how to count, how to use scissors properly and the list goes on.
Teachers have a tough job but they are good at what they do. They can handle your children on a level that most parents are not able to do themselves. When children are put in an atmosphere that is unfamiliar (in a school or in a youth group), they learn how to behave in that environment. Teachers do a great job (generally) of mitigating disruptive behavior in order to maximize the learning environment. Parents don’t have that luxury. In my opinion, most children do not see their parents as their teacher. They’re more seen as a provider and if we’re being honest with each other, most parents use technology to babysit their children these days.
I am strongly concerned that when this pandemic is behind us, we are going to find many students intellectually behind compared to where they should be. This is going to hurt our education system in many ways. First off, teachers are going to have double-duty re-educating students that are behind, and you’re going to have students that will be stalled because their peers are being caught up. Teachers are going to have to find a way to engage with those students, too. It’s a losing scenario for teachers.
My main concern is if we are able to open schools this fall successfully, how are we going to keep them open? Many parents do not realize that even with the regular flu (Influenza), schools can be shut down if the population reaches a certain percentage of infection. Now that we have SARS-CoV-2 (also knows as COVID-19), this opens up a new window for closing schools with even stricter rules. The bottom line is parents need to keep their students home if they’re sick. The problem is some parents financially can not do this. This hopefully will open up a conversation with employers to support our workers.
If a single student is sick, a parent should feel they are able to keep their children home without being reprimanded at work. Many places of employment already afford their employees sick time and vacation time but the lines are blurry when it comes to their own children. I’d like to see open communication from employers regarding policies surrounding this. If an entire school shuts down because a single parent can not keep a child home, then the whole school population suffers. I know we do not want a repeat of March-June 2020. This hurt businesses large and small.
In closing, this is a very complicated problem and there is not a single solution for it. There are a lot of different beliefs in the world right now. Regardless of what your beliefs are, the education of the future leaders of America is important. If you support keeping schools open, please try and do your part to keep them open. If you do not support keeping schools open, please responsibly educate your child. Your beliefs are your beliefs and it doesn’t matter to me what you believe. What does matter to me is that we need to raise a generation that has the ability to prosper and doesn’t leave children behind. This is less about “celebrating” our children and their achievements but more about making sure they are able to be celebrated at some point in their life because they had the education necessary to prosper and succeed.