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Are teachers, coaches essential workers in the day of the virus?

Should school teachers, which included our coaches, be considered “essential” workers?  Are they like policemen, firemen, and the local grocery worker as of their importance for what they do and how they enhance the learning of our nation’s children and young adults?  As we know, our government, both Federal and State, have used the “essential” label to various groups in our work force, which we, as citizens, have to give a big thank you for their work and service during this troubled time.  They put their lives on the line every time they go to work.



To define who are “essential” workers, we can go back to 2018 when our US Government shut down as of governmental discourse of our politicians.  To define “non-essential” workers we then can say who is in the “essential” group.


“I personally feel like saying nonessential is kind of like if you go on vacation, we can find a way to make sure that work gets done if you take a week long vacation,” Jessica Klement, a legislative director for the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.
That quote is significant as do we think that our teachers/coaches affect the learning process in a way that the lack of an in-person, in-classroom experience will give way to an overall negative result of the education received by the student?  A corresponding result of permanent harm of the individual student’s learning?



Yes, a harm.  One that is a negative influence on the education of the child and does not support positive psychological development. Not having a live teacher that interacts with fidelity and rigger is bad. The student must have that extra attention to insure them a fighting chance to be a healthy adult in time.









Teachers would like to avoid answering the above.  To do so they put the child ahead of their health, their political beliefs, and their teacher unions.    They understand what they do is in fact important.   Face-to-face instruction cannot be duplicated in the various faux education models that put the teacher at home and the child also at home.  And that direct in-class learning is a must for childhood development. 



Teachers that say differently need to have their teaching licenses pulled.  But it comes at a cost that many teachers are not willing to pay.  We are dealing with teachers here, not policemen, or firefighters who put their lives on the line every day. And not to mention the Trader Joe’s employee that goes to work to stock the shelves, check you out, or cut your meats.  Deny that if you must, but what I say it the truth.





Children and their leaning is the most important issue of this pandemic, even over the ways and means of saving the lives of those that could die of the virus.




PUTTING THE CHILD FIRST, which I have always believed and espoused as a teacher, principal, and educator is being thrown into the classroom waste paper basket.  CHILDREN COME FIRST OR THEY DO NOT.  Right now, for the agendas of teachers unions, political parties, and governmental leaders, CHILDREN DO NOT COME.  To say otherwise would make you a less than truthful citizen of this country.




The argument is:   are teachers “essential” workers? And should they report for in-class instruction. 





Each individual teacher can answer that.  Each teacher has to understand that every day a child misses in-class instruction will hurt that child. 



Blame it on the teachers, or the school boards, or the politicians for the problem we are in.  Yes, schools must do their due diligence in making them as as safe for all, students and staff.  
You cannot blame the medical community or those organizations that stand up for the child not related to the teachers or the school leaders of the various districts.  It is the educators and their leadership to make the schools as safe as they can.  There is no excuse or cutting corners for that. The educators, like everyone else, have read the SCIENCE and it says get the child back in the classroom. Not next semester, or after the election.  Get them back immediately.



And if the management of Trader Joe’s, of our fire and police departments can make it safe enough for them to work as essential workers, the schools must do the same.  There is no excuse.   And yes, knowing of the consequences of getting the virus, then teachers and coaches need to show the country they too are also “essential” workers and get back to the classroom to do what they are being paid to do, and that is TEACH.












About Fred Pahlke

Fred Pahlke, an Oklahoma native has viewed over 10,000 sporting events in his 65 years. A season ticket holder of the Oklahoma City Thunder, former season tickect holder for the Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma City University Chiefs/Stars, he is an expert in both professional and college basketball and football. A high school athlete at Classen High School in basketball and tennis, he played amateur tennis after high school in the Missouri Valley Tennis Association. A graduate of Oklahoma City University, he taught in the public schools for 6 years before becoming a building administrator in the Oklahoma City Public Schools for 31 years, 28 as the Principal of various schools in the district. He has guided various high school and college athletes in his time as an educator and coach. Fredsportsextra has recorded 101, 410 article views in its first ten months, from August 2015 through May 2016.

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