Teachers concerned with returning to classroom for fall semester

A Gwinnett County Public Schools teacher said her main concerns are the ripple effects of someone transmitting the virus on campus and the workload that's now being placed on educators. 

"It's keeping me up at night," the teacher, who asked to not be identified, said.

Last Thursday, GCPS announced their plans to re-open in august with the option of digital learning for students.

The elementary school teacher told FOX 5's Brian Hill she was surprised by that decision.

"I was afraid for my family. I was afraid for even families of the students," she mentioned.

The teacher said it's a shared sentiment among other educators within the district especially with the number of COVID-19 cases rising again.

The district has a number of safety measures in place including periodic screenings, disinfecting buildings and buses more often, and staggering lunch, playground, and class-change schedules.

However, masks will not be required.

The district stated "the use of masks can be a challenge for some children and adults, so it will not be required. However, the wearing of masks will be encouraged for those who can."

The teacher we spoke with Sunday said she was shocked by that.

"If there is one message we the public have received from the onset of the pandemic is the [importance] of wearing a mask."

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These concerns are not just in Gwinnett County.

The President of the Georgia Association of Educators said many teachers in their organization are worried.

"It seems like it's a little too fast with not enough research done on how this is going to work," Charlotte Booker explained.

Teachers also fear offering both virtual and traditional learning will mean more work.

"Doing the virtual lessons is extremely time-consuming. I can't even fathom how both are going to be done," the teacher explained.

GCPS surveyed employees prior to their decision.

Survey results showed more than 43% of staff who responded preferred full in-person learning.

The teacher FOX 5 spoke with said she would have preferred the fall semester have been virtual learning only.

Classes in Gwinnett County resume on August 5th.