Dear Teacher,

The start of a new school year is a month away, and I cannot even begin to fathom what must be running through your mind right now. Any other year would find you selecting decorations for your classroom, reviewing lesson plans, or just enjoying the final free days of summer vacation--but this is 2020, and the novel Coronavirus has changed everything.

As a parent, I've found myself agonizing over whether or not to send my daughter back to the traditional classroom. I want her to be among her peers, to get back to a daily schedule, to have a sense of normalcy in her life--but is this worth the risk of exposing her to COVID-19? I still haven't made up my mind, and as I reviewed our school district's latest return plan, I realized: you don't have a choice.

You don't get to choose what you think is best for you or your family. If the decision is made to open schools in August, you'll be there. I can't imagine how scared you must be. I know our schools are going above and beyond to sanitize and ensure students practice social distancing, but that doesn't mean you're not going to be exposed to a potentially deadly virus.

And your work load? Talk about a Sisyphean task. Maintaining order in the classroom is hard enough, but add disciplinary issues from kids who won't wear a face mask or stay six feet apart from one another and you have a recipe for more stress than anyone can handle.

And your lesson plans? How do you do it? I know you're working diligently to finish your classroom curriculum while also creating a plan for the worst-case-scenario should the novel Coronavirus shut down schools again.

I know my words won't change much, but I want to let you know I see you. You work so hard. You give so much and ask for so little in return. I appreciate you more than you know.

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