JIM SHARPE

School is best for kids — unless it’s unrecognizable and inconsistent

Aug 11, 2020, 2:00 PM
(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)...
(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Yesterday, about a thousand parents, students and teachers, known as “Green For Ed,” held a rally in front of the Arizona State Capitol. They were rallying for schools to reopen in Arizona for in-person learning.

Just like them, I’m seeing the negative effects that not being in school is having on my kids so, just like the Green For Ed folks, I want in-person school to resume.

But is the in-person school we are going to get really going to be much of we want? Or, more importantly, what our kids need?

No.

In many ways it won’t be any better than online learning — and it could prove to be more harmful emotionally for some kids.

Schools will want to limit touch points, so our kids will still be staring at a screen, completing assignments on an electronic device. And to limit the risk associated with changing classrooms, many teachers will teach via a screen… located in a classroom.

But they’ll still see their friends, right? Sure, but there will be practically no socialization at six-feet-apart school. They won’t be allowed to play together, touch each others stuff (that they brought to show their friends) or have lunch together.

And kids won’t be happy about wearing a mask for six hours a day, either. And may even cry when their teachers aren’t nearly as sweet about explaining how they need to follow the rules — because getting kids to follow these rules will be seen as a matter of life and death.

There’s also a good chance kids will be taught by someone who’s unqualified. Arizona had a pre-coronavirus teacher shortage. That shortage will be exacerbated by teachers who will choose to retire rather than risk going back to class. And when a teacher who did come back to class comes down with COVID, a ton of non-sick teachers may call in sick — some permanently.

Then what do you do? Deputize the janitorial staff?

How long will in-person school last before getting closed for a deep-cleaning, a staff quarantine — or a complete re-staffing?

I don’t need a child psychology degree to tell you what all this opening and closing (and the explanations as to why) will do to kids. Many will be frustrated, confused and/or scared.

Maybe, for the time being, online, at-home school is a better choice than unrecognizable, inconsistent, in-person school because the latter may provide almost none of what we want for our kids — and create more of what we don’t: a whole new set of emotional issues.

Jim Sharpe

(YouTube Screenshot/Mark Brnovich for Senate)...
Jim Sharpe

Arizona AG Brnovich hedges bet on vaccine mandates for businesses

Some Republicans' lack of trust in COVID-19 vaccines is reason for Arizona Attorney General and U.S. Senate hopeful Mark Brnovich's burying of a decision that says private businesses can require the shots, writes KTAR News host Jim Sharpe.
2 months ago
(Photo by Sergio Dionisio/Getty Images)...
Jim Sharpe

President Biden, don’t just TELL us you heart us on Valentine’s Week

President Joe Biden's kind words about Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey were sweet, but more vaccine doses would show true commitment, says KTAR News host Jim Sharpe.
8 months ago
(AP Photo)...
Jim Sharpe

GOP needs ‘restraining order’ on bad boyfriend Donald Trump

For the sake of the GOP's future, KTAR News host Jim Sharpe says that Senate Republicans need to do their part and vote to impeach Donald Trump.
9 months ago
(AP Photo)...
Jim Sharpe

After 4 years, Trump’s legacy boils down to last two months

After his latest attempt to make America his own image failed Wednesday, KTAR News host Jim Sharpe says Donald Trump's lasting legacy will be his conduct since he lost the November election.
9 months ago
Jim Sharpe

Politicians: Put me in the Christmas spirit by following your own advice

KTAR News host Jim Sharpe is heeding officials' advice about avoiding holiday gatherings and travel, so why can't they?
10 months ago
(Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP, File)...
Jim Sharpe

The ‘Fauci Effect’ vs. the ‘Cardinals Effect’

KTAR News host Jim Sharpe says that Dr. Anthony Fauci has done the impossible during the pandemic -- prioritized public health while keeping President Trump mostly happy.
10 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
...
Chris Kennedy

My Special Aflac Duck® taking flight in Arizona

For more than 65 years, Aflac has had the extraordinary opportunity and privilege to help provide peace of mind to individuals who have our supplemental insurance policies.
...
BARROW NEUROLOGICAL INSTITUTE

More stroke patients eligible for acute treatment, thanks to research

Historically, patients underwent acute stroke treatments according to strict time guidelines. But thanks to recent advancements in stroke research, more patients are becoming candidates for clot-busting drugs and endovascular therapy at specialized centers like Barrow Neurological Institute.
School is best for kids — unless it’s unrecognizable and inconsistent