Dave Grohl Says We Need To Protect Teachers Like The National Treasures They Are
As debates rage on regarding schools re-opening, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl says we should be treating teachers ‘like the national treasures they are’.
The 51-year-old was a self-confessed ‘terrible student… each day, I desperately waited for the final bell to ring so that I could be released from the confines of my stuffy, windowless classroom and run home to my guitar’.
His mum is now 82 years old and retired – but way back when, she was a public school teacher. As the child of a former ‘engaging educator’, Grohl clearly felt compelled to enter the conversation: in his opinion, remote learning is the way forward.
In an essay published by The Atlantic, Grohl noted that teachers already have ‘challenges that go far beyond just pen and paper’, and ‘today, those challenges could mean life or death for some’.
Across the US, there’s been more than four million confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 145,000 deaths. Despite the persistent numbers, President Donald Trump is adamant on re-opening the nation’s schools in the fall.
‘There’s so much more to be addressed than just opening the doors and sending them back home,’ my mother tells me over the phone… she runs down a list of concerns based on her 35 years of experience: ‘Masks and distancing, temperature checks, crowded busing, crowded hallways, sports, air-conditioning systems, lunchrooms, public restrooms, janitorial staff.’
Most schools already struggle from a lack of resources; how could they possibly afford the mountain of safety measures that will need to be in place?
Earlier this week, Missouri Governor Mike Parson openly acknowledged the inherent risk of children contracting the virus upon returning to school, claiming that they’ll simply ‘get over it’.
Speaking on The Mark Cox Show, he said: ‘These kids have got to get back to school – they’re at the lowest risk possible, and if they do get COVID-19, which they will, and they will when they go to school, they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctors offices – they’re going to go home and get over it and most of it all proves out to be that way.’
Grohl’s mother told him remote learning should be in place for the time being, while conceding that there would be a number of complications in the process.
The Nirvana drummer added:
Remote learning comes with more than a few of its own complications, especially for working-class and single parents who are dealing with the logistical problem of balancing jobs with children at home. Uneven availability of teaching materials and online access, technical snafus, and a lack of socialization all make for a less-than-ideal learning experience.
However, Grohl keenly notes that while it’s inconvenient, remote learning is a ‘hopefully temporary solution… as much as Donald Trump’s conductor-less orchestra would love to see the country prematurely open schools in the name of rosy optics, it would be foolish to do so at the expense of our children, teachers, and schools’.
In an emotional last paragraph, Grohl writes that teachers ‘provide you with the necessary tools to survive’, yet nobody is protecting them.
Until you have spent countless days in a classroom devoting your time and energy to becoming that lifelong mentor to generations of otherwise disengaged students, you must listen to those who have. Teachers want to teach, not die, and we should support and protect them like the national treasures that they are.
Closing the essay, Grohl writes of teachers: ‘For without them, where would we be?’
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