Why Are Teachers So Averse to Returning to the Classroom?

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The answer turns on the occupation’s culture — and its low tolerance of risk.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE A major theme of the “when do we reopen” debate across the country has been the resistance of teachers to reopening in-person school. This is partly a function of public-school teachers’ unions, which often do not reflect the views of their members. Then again, while many teachers have been bitterly frustrated with online teaching, it is clear that there is a lot of sentiment out there from rank-and-file teachers against returning to the classroom even when they are fully vaccinated, at least until every single student is vaccinated or the pandemic is over entirely.

We can see that level of caution from


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