Lucas Smolcic Larson writes in the Island Packet about the views of teachers concerning the return to school.

The S.C. McClatchy newspapers asked educators if they felt ready to return to school during the coronavirus pandemic. Over 250 teachers, librarians, coaches and other educators from every corner of the state responded to the survey. The vast majority work at public schools, with about two-thirds reporting they will be required to teach students face-to-face starting this month or next.”

The teachers quoted are anonymous, for obvious reasons. Most are worried. Some are fearful.

Here are a few of the responses:

Lowcountry, more than 10 years. Everyone is confused, overwhelmed and plans are changing daily. Bottom line, I do not feel safe or valued.

Upstate, more than 10 years. My husband and I are both teachers. We have three young children. We updated our will last week. The stress and anxiety we are all feeling is affecting my entire family.

Midlands, 5-10 years. I expect to be exposed and possibly contract COVID. I am attempting to prepare my home and family if this occurs, and I have to quarantine … We have to look to our medical professionals as to how to handle this situation … They could not opt out of not going to work and neither can the educational professionals. Now is the time for us to step up, mask up and do our part to help our children.

Lowcountry, more than 10 years. It’s not a question of if there’s (going to be) an outbreak at school but WHEN. I feel like a pawn for the politicians and administrators. We teach so as to empower students in our classrooms, yet here we are totally dis-empowered as teachers. These cracks were evident before COVID-19, but the pandemic has widened them into canyons.