A Texas teacher, concerned about the coronavirus pandemic, said she recently wrote her will and appointed power of attorney ahead of the school year.
The woman, who spoke to KSAT but declined to give her name, works in San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District. She said she became concerned after the Texas Education Agency issued new guidelines on July 17 for the fall semester. That includes online classes for the first four weeks of the school year, which begins Aug. 24.
The teacher, who has 20 years of teaching experience, told KSAT that she has had asthma all her life. and that she has accepted the fact that she will be spending most of her time in a “potentially dangerous work environment.”
The teacher said writing a will and appointing a legal executor “will ensure that the objects I treasure are left to the people I love the most,” in case she dies from COVID-19. She has told other teachers about her plans.
“They often respond with nervous laughter,” the woman told KSAT.
The San Antonio teacher’s move is similar to that of Fort Worth middle school teacher Mary Strickland, who last month decided to write a will, CBS News reported.
The San Antonio woman said teachers are expecting between 20 and 26 students per classroom, with desks spaced 6 feet apart. Teachers have been given handbooks spelling out operational procedures.
“I have been provided with a detailed checklist of procedures and responsibilities. Safety upgrades are being provided such as handwashing stations, cleaning supplies, and plexiglass in high traffic areas,” the teacher said. “All teachers and most students will be required to wear masks. These are all good things. However, I know the realities of the school environment, and I know the current data in relation to how COVID-19 is spreading in our community.
“I feel virtual learning can be highly effective if the teacher and students are engaged in live, daily instruction. I’m not a proponent of posting an assignment, and then leaving it to parents and students to figure out,” she said. “I understand that virtual learning is not ideal for every learner, and of course there are the occasional technological hiccups that interrupt instruction.”