The Journal’s (Aug. 11) editorial titled “Will APS allow students to enter schools this year?” presents a partial picture of the dangers involved with school reopening and is disrespectful toward Albuquerque’s public education community. In the face of the herculean task of reinventing how we, as public servants, deliver a public good, the Journal’s decision to degrade the profession is counterproductive.
Educators are currently caught juggling our student’s physical and emotional well-being, the public’s well-being and continuing to perform our public service. Educators, students and families deserve to be supported as they begin this new adventure into online learning, not be dismissed as failing before even beginning.
New Mexico’s response to the pandemic has succeeded because of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration acting upon the scientific community’s recommendations to keep New Mexicans safe. This is despite the lack of federal leadership or assistance to combat the virus’ spread.
However, there is no guarantee these successes will continue when schools reopen. Israel was an early success story in controlling its COVID-19 outbreak. By mid-May, just after cases fell to their lowest levels, the government reopened schools. This rush to reopen quickly led to outbreaks across Israel. The Israeli lesson for the rest of the world is this: Hasty reopening can lead to deadly and dangerous consequences. A truly evaluative analysis from the Journal would have included the potential risk factors involved with school reopening.
Recently, our school community lost an essential, cherished member to COVID-19. She had touched the lives of our students, parents and faculty with her dedication. She is one of the many who we have lost and that we collectively mourn. The void left when a loved one dies or becomes ill does not just stop with the family but sends shockwaves that have a long, lasting effect on everyone. …
The Journal, too, did not even consider that Albuquerque students and educators could do well at distance learning. These past couple weeks of school, we have been part of a vast effort of educators ready, willing and able to reinvent how to reach students. We have been contacting families, learning new teaching techniques, learning new technology, sharing engagement strategies and sharing resources. This is all in an attempt to support our students and families as people and as learners.
Educators have, are and will continue to evaluate all of the factors that go into the decision to reopen schools, and these considerations weigh upon each of us every day. This past week has been an example of our public school educators’ concern for student well-being and education. We are dealing with a pandemic that has altered the lives of so many around the world. Educators are on the front lines trying to strike the balance between safety, the emotional welfare of our students and their education. In such an unprecedented time those who take up a pen should be supporting our educators, families and students and not inciting scorn against them.