Vaccinated, Teachers Ready to Return

As teachers return to classrooms, many say they feel safe after receiving the vaccine.

Many teachers are seeing the light at the end of what some thought was a neverending tunnel since Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear made teachers a high priority for the COVID-19 vaccine. This week, FCPS high schools are returning in-person with a remote option.

The vaccine has really helped my anxiety about returning to school during a pandemic,” social studies teacher Mrs. Sharessa Crovo said. “I felt a little guilty being in one of the first groups, however, my job gets life back to normal for thousands of people in my community. Teachers really do have a servant’s heart and we miss our students.” 

Dunbar has over 2,000 students and putting all students, teachers, and staff back in person is an exposure risk. However, teachers say that they are thankful that the community stayed patient for the distribution of the vaccines to teachers to be complete.

I am relieved to know that it was a priority for FCPS to have teachers and staff vaccinated prior to the return to in-person classes,” Spanish teacher Mrs. Linday Gayheart said. “The safety of our students and staff has always been at the forefront of everything FCPS has done in the way of COVID-19 precautions, and the vaccines were no different.”

This “shot of hope” as Mrs. Gayheart called it, is one that teachers say they were eager to receive to be able to get back in the classrooms.

“The excitement and joy that was present in the room when I received both vaccines made it abundantly clear that all teachers were ready to get back to normal, and they were all excited to receive it,” Mrs. Gayheart said.

At this point, many teachers are starting to feel like they are ready and are comfortable with going back in-person. When the COVID-19 positivity rates were rapidly increasing, there was a lot of concern about transmission among non-vaccinated people. In the community, though, many are officially starting the vaccination process, and the positivity rates are decreasing.

I felt like it was callous and dangerous to open before the vaccine,” Mrs. Crovo said. “It was also dangerous to try and force an opening when we are understaffed. Many older educators weighed the costs and decided to retire. Substitutes and bus drivers just don’t feel like the money to risk ratio is worth exposing themselves to a deadly disease. Luckily, because the Governor made public schools a priority, Kentucky has been the fastest state in the country to vaccinate educators. Opening in stages was absolutely the most prudent decision.”

As teachers have returned to their classrooms, they say they have found the precautions such as masking, air purifiers, and hand sanitizers comforting.

“I’m ready to get back to my students now that I feel we will all be safe,” Mrs. Crovo said.