I’VE SEEN THE LOCKDOWNS AND THE DAMAGE DONE: We asked teachers how their year went. They warned of an exodus to come.
“I feel like at the beginning of the school year, I basically got second graders, because that’s the point where they were in school full time,” she said.
“Though you’re a fourth grade teacher, you’re teaching kids who are emotionally at the second grade level. And academically, we’re back to working miracles, like, ‘Hey, we need to get these kids caught up, we need to fill these gaps.'”
Beyond academic development, teachers are also reporting serious concerns around mental health.
Polk-Hoffses said that although her pre-K students were coming to her “fresh” at a young age, she had witnessed the concern among her colleagues.
“They’re very worried about the students that they had this year, because they saw a lot of depression. Someone even brought up cutting, they were afraid that a student would begin cutting again,” Polk-Hoffses said.
“Students were learning in isolation, then they came back, and they’re overwhelmed, and they’ve experienced a trauma. And unfortunately, all schools aren’t equipped to deal with the trauma that the students have experienced during the pandemic.”
The trauma was unnecessary, as were the lockdowns — both encouraged by the teachers’ unions.