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Educators express concerns, fears with returning to school in fall

(WJRT)
Published: Jun. 5, 2020 at 4:30 PM EDT
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(06/05/2020) -- While Coronavirus cases continue to go down in the state, the anxiety behind it doesn't seem to be following suit.

"Teachers went straight from face to face to strictly online. The anxiety that goes with that is very very high," said Tara Kimbrue, a 5th grade teacher in the Swartz Creek Community School district.

She said it's been a rough few months having to adapt to online teaching. But come this fall, it could be another rough period. We also spoke with Julie Clark who teaches 3rd grade in the district. She echos that thought.

"I know that we will have to have personal protection precautions in place. And the logistics of that concern me," Clark said.

That means things like masks.

"Children can't keep their hands to themselves as it is. I see a lot of their hands being up in their face a lot more than if they didn't wear one," Kimbrue said.

And then there's social distancing.

"Typically our classrooms have between 25-30 students in them in an elementary classroom, and we physically don't have the space to social distance."

There's no doubt COVID-19 has unleashed a myriad of issues like

budget cuts, health concerns including mental health, PPE, and even some educators considering leaving the industry.

"If I had to go back to strictly online teaching, I don't know that it's something that would keep me in the profession because I don't feel that I have the skills to do a quality job," Kimbrue added.

Governor Whitmer has formed a Return to School Advisory Council.

The council is tasked with making sure educators voices are heard in how to effectively and safely reopen schools across the state.

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