I spent nearly my entire life in a classroom. As a student, as a Para-Educator while earning my degree and teaching credential, and as a credentialed teacher. Never in my life did I imagine I’d be homeschooling, but here I am. A new teaching adventure begins here in a few weeks. If I were returning to the classroom, during this season, I’d be looking for alternatives to some of the more toxic options being suggested for my classroom and for my students. My students meant the absolute WORLD to me. I think of them by face and name often. I cried today at the thought of what school is going to look like this year for those kiddos and others.
I completely understand and know full well that not all sites or districts allow for flexibility or alternatives. I taught at several sites that, for example, didn’t allow personal electronic devices like mini refrigerators and similarly would not allow an air purifier for various reasons. But you better believe I would be educating and advocating for it anyway. No harm trying. Same goes for the cleaning items listed here. But you better know that if a site wanted me to use toxic cleaners in my room around my students all day or if a school was going to have my child wash all day with soaps I’d never use on them and wipe with chemicals I know can cause them harm, I’d fight like a mother. With grace and kindness, of course, but, still.
I’m not suggesting what anyone else should do. This is just what I personally would advocate for and choose. So many of you parents and educators have reached out to ask what I would do, or asked for recommendations, I thought it might be helpful to share here.
Parents, you are heroes. There is so much out of our control right now. Many are facing tough decisions. Some are feeling forced into situations they’d never choose for their families. I see you and I’m so proud of you. You are championing this year. You are doing hard things so well. You. Are. A. Warrior.
Teachers and staff, you are heroes. Thank you for showing up and standing in the gap for these kids. You sacrifice so much daily for them. This year you have outdone yourselves and I’m not surprised. Yet, I am amazed.