To teachers, 6 little words: Wear your mask, do your job

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Teachers enjoying the summer around the Seacoast strap on a mask, grab the hand sanitizers and go out and shop every day, maybe to the grocery store, maybe to a restaurant for lunch or dinner.

Let's face it, you gotta eat.

But what about hungry young minds that are starving not only for knowledge, but for social interaction with their peers, something they need desperately in their formative years.

We understand there may be teachers over 60 who have underlying conditions who may be fearful of contracting the virus since they are at enhanced risk.

We also believe many of those same teachers go shopping or dining or to the beach or to the country club every day.

I know this is hard; it takes some real introspection. But our children's future should not be taken lightly either.

The effects of being kept at home, away from their peers and physical interaction with educators, can be devastating to youngsters.

Teachers are on the frontline of spotting parental abuse or neglect among school age kids. Where does that safety net go?

Remember the bell curve. Twenty percent of students do poorly, 20 percent do great and the other 60 percent are up for grabs. That's where the teachers come to the fore.

You leave it up to remote learning and you could lose 80 percent of the kids to TikTok, youtube, and various video games featuring daring feats of destruction and mortal combat. You'll see them drop off an online feed, they're chatting with their friends.

We were refreshed in speaking to folks over at Saint Elizabeth Seton School of Rochester, where we're told teachers are chomping at the bit to get back in the classroom.

As a high school and elementary teacher for several years, I know I would be devastated if I couldn't physically be in the classroom with my kids. Every red-blooded American teacher should feel the same way.

And don't forget, teachers. One of the reasons teaching is so important? The medium is the message.

Here's how it goes. Kids come into the classroom every day and see you all dressed professionally, doing your job, being responsible and respectful, keeping order in the classroom.

That's the message. You're teaching them all those things about how we comport ourselves as adults, as well as the actual lesson plan.

And this year you'll also be teaching them to wear a mask. How important is that?

How can you impart that message fully when you're a little square on a zoom chat?

And let's not forget: More than 80 percent of parents want their kids physically in a classroom!

This pandemic has altered a lot of ways we do business. Don't think it couldn't change the publicly financed method of how we teach our children. Hello charter schools and home schooling.

Let's not forget. If there ever were essential workers, they are teachers. Why? The children are our future.

Teachers need to be in the classroom. Wear your mask, do your job!

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