Oklahoma Teachers Face COVID-19 Anxiety As New School Year Approaches


Sunday, August 8th 2021, 10:49 pm
By: Anjelicia Bruton


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Teachers said they are looking forward to the upcoming school year, but they do have a few concerns about going into another year during the pandemic.

Jami Cole is a fifth-grade teacher in Duncan. She said as she's been preparing for the upcoming school year, she can't help but to feel anxious.

“I actually went to my classroom Thursday. I had a mild panic attack,” Cole said.

Katherine Bishop with the Oklahoma Education Association said Cole isn't the only teacher feeling this way.

“Who they were worried about were their students. They were worried about their students. They were worried about the students' families and that's who we are and we want to make sure that they are coming back and have a safe learning environment as well as we need safe working environment,” Bishop said.

Cole said her goal for this year is survival. She said she almost lost her life last year fighting COVID-19 and she doesn't want her kids or anyone to experience what she did.

“I'm going to wear a mask and I’m going to take all the precautions that I took last year. I'm going to move the desk to where they're social distancing as much as I can. I'll put them in pods like I did last year,” Cole said.

“The governor has some options right now. He could call special session that has been requested. He could declare an emergency, but what we ask the governor to do is to continue to consult and listen to the health experts,” Bishop said.

The first day of school for Cole is next Thursday.