A majority of K-12 teachers say they are concerned about resuming to in-person teaching when the school year begins, according to a new poll.
A NPR/Ipsos poll released Thursday indicates about two-thirds of teachers would rather teach remotely when school starts up again.
Poll results show:
- 82% of teachers say they are concerned about returning to the classroom this fall.
- 66% of teachers say they would prefer to teach mostly remotely when school resumes.
- 77% of teachers say they are worried about risking their own health to return to the classroom.
- 78% of teachers say they are concerned about obtaining personal protective equipment and cleaning materials for teaching in-person.
- 84% of teachers say they will likely have difficulty enforcing social distancing among their students.
- 73% of teachers say they are concerned about connecting with students while wearing a mask.
Parents feel the same way teachers do about returning to the classroom. Another recent NPR/Ipsos poll found that 62% of parents of children under 18 felt school should begin virtually.
Teachers told NPR they are concerned about their schools supplying hand sanitizer or wipes. Many said they are responsible for providing their own cleaning supplies.
High school English teacher Robin Stauffer told NPR she had to start cleaning her classroom after the district cut back on custodial staff a few years ago.
“They don't supply hand sanitizer. They don't supply wipes. None of these supplies were ever given to us. You just use what you had or what teachers themselves purchased,” she told NPR.
Even though teachers prefer a virtual start to the school year, many say they are concerned. More than half of the teachers, 55%, say they can’t do their job properly only. Eighty-four percent of the teachers surveyed reported that online learning creates gaps in opportunities for students. And 83% say they are concerned about connecting with students they've never met when online classes begin.
The poll surveyed 505 teachers between July 21-24. The margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.
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