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It's in our schools now! By Dr. Terance Shipman

When I started this calling 27 years ago, I never would have imagined it would have come to this. Online teaching is a lot! It’s more demanding than in person teaching. It takes a toll on the teachers, parents, and the students. I have to self-check often to make sure that this isn’t a dream or some horror story. When I first start teaching, we used computers with floppy disk, and we thought we were high tech. Now, I wake up each morning and stand in front of my Apple computer to teach. Yes, I miss being in front of the classroom each and every day. I miss the drive to work and getting Starbucks coffee with my wife, who is also a teacher, and looking into faces of students who are eager and ready to learn. I miss coaching softball too. I even miss the students who misbehave and make me mad. It’s all truly missed, but I love living more.

A few months ago, the Coronavirus (Covid-19) was knocking at our doors. It was uninvited but let itself in and made itself a home, in our schools, and our lives. Schools across the country are virtually educating students. When the school year ended, numerous schools were using virtual education. The summer has come and gone and now we’re here. Some school systems are teaching fully online; some school systems are teaching half online and half face to face; and the worst of them all, the school systems that are teaching fully in person. The educating of our children must go on everyone says.

The virus won’t stop us from educating our children. Schools are opening, but at what cost? The most tragic cost is death. To have someone die, because of this virus is heartbreaking. Educators across the country are not only getting exposed and sick, but they are dying. Each day we hear of a another fallen educator.

I always saw myself as an educational warrior. There are times when you’re fighting battles from all sides. There are times when you truly are fighting for your job, your peace of mind, and breaking up fights too. Then here comes this virus into your school, into your classroom, in your face. So, what do you do?

You have gone to school (many times for multiple degrees) just to be told you must put your life at risk to teach. I know you may be overwhelmed with virtual teaching, but you must now come back into the classroom. Teachers now must contend with a new guest that has invaded our schools. We will do our best to protect the students and ourselves. Teachers are going the extra mile, as always, to give the students the best educational experience. This is our job, educational warrior. They are expecting you to give the students your best at all cost.

Psalms 23:1

A psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,He leads me beside quiet waters,

3 He refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Educational Warriors hold strong in your Faith, and yet practice good science. God will protect those who protect themselves. I pray this will end soon. I’m not sure if things will ever be the same after this. I pray the Virus leaves our schools, homes and lives. Until that time, I encourage my fellow Educational Warriors to do what you love to do: TEACH! Make every day the best teaching and learning experience that you can possibly offer to your students.

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