'A lot of preparations:' With pandemic ongoing, teachers raise concerns over return to classes

MILWAUKEE -- The uncertainty of the coronavirus has many students concerned about their classes, but teachers are the ones with even more questions.

Families passed the test of making it through the of a school year during a pandemic. Meanwhile, preparations for the next one are underway.

"What is really important is for schools and districts to make decisions quickly," said Amanda DoAmaral, founder and CEO of the social learning network Fiveable. "Everything is going to take a lot of preparations teachers need to be given a lot of time to plan to re-plan to be trained properly on the right technology."

DoAmaral surveyed teachers on their thoughts for fall. Thirty-six percent said schools should definitely open for in-person instruction; 24% said no, they should start with remote learning. Thirty-eight percent of teachers weren't quite sure.

"What we found is that the major concern is, rightfully so, it's health. Their own health, and their students' health and the health of their families," said DoAmaral. "They also are thinking about the social-emotional aspect in how the student are doing and of and what that means for academic outcomes."

Dealing with unrealistic expectations from administrators to get students back on track, along with adhering to the constant recommended safety precautions, followed closely behind on the list of teachers' concerns.

"That takes away from what a teacher could be doing in an academic sense," DoAmaral said.

While time ticks down until the first school bell rings, DoAmaral said collaboration from districts, parents and families will lead to the best solution.