Teachers and schools have been some of the most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Trump administration. President-elect Joe Biden is giving these educators hope.
Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, what it means for schools and the reassurance that President-elect Biden has brought to educators in Ohio and throughout the country.
Rise in COVID-19 cases
There has been a rise in COVID-19 cases in Ohio and nationwide. This has led to difficulties for some teachers as they have their own families to keep safe, but are working among groups of children on a daily basis.
Cropper said it is disturbing to see so many people ignoring guidelines, leading to an explosion of cases.
She used the term “uncertainty fatigue” to describe how many educators are feeling about the state of the pandemic. The term includes uncertainty due to lack of communication from leaders, uncertainty of when a vaccine will be available and general uncertainty about the future.
Without a statewide or national plan for what to do in the event of a large influx in cases, each district was left to craft their own plan.
Optimism from President-elect Biden
On a lighter note, Cropper suggested that the incoming Biden administration provides hope for public educators after being left behind by the Trump administration.
Cropper said she is excited to see Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos leave. DeVos was a major advocate of privatizing education and taking money from public schools and giving it to charter schools.
The Biden transition team has shown its dedication to public education. Dr. Jill Biden is a public educator and the transition team includes three members of the American Federation of Teachers.