I am not a parent, I have no kids, nor do I plan on having kids, this may bothersome and have them stop reading here, and that is ok. You are entitled to your opinion as am I. I am an outsider looking in, in both children and education. The closest I can come to either is I was once a child and I am married to a North Carolina Public School Teacher. I have seen the outrage of parents for teachers not doing their job, for putting their safety above their job. Teachers are not the military. I was active in the United States Marine Corps for 4 years. I deployed to Afghanistan twice. I found this quote and it applies to myself. “A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America, for an amount up to and including their life.” I was ok with this decision. A schoolteacher made a check to the public, to educate. To create minds that were not only hungry for knowledge but also smart enough to make informed decisions based on the knowledge they have. This doesn’t mean the child will grow up and always make the right decision. Hindsight is 20/20. The school is not a breeding ground for little democrats or little republicans. Children are born without bigotry, hate, greed, or lust of power. They are pure innocent souls that society has given to teachers and said. Make them a man, make them a woman of intelligence and wit. Make them better than your generation so that the world can be better, so that society can be better. Modern teachers are now taught to put themselves in front of bullets, to die for our children. When did our peaceful educators become a line of defense? This happened when violence was brought to a safe space. This is not new sadly. This is part of being a teacher in a modern world. We now want these men and women who chose the loud, chaotic, and peaceful profession of our world to die for our children. Now these teachers are under attack. They are attacked, because children who did no work are failing and parents are mad, they aren’t passing. These men and women are ridiculed and harassed because with underfunding, and underappreciation, they are not being societies whipping toy anymore. There is a classic argument “they knew they would get underpaid when they became a teacher, they knew they chose a life of servitude akin to those of religion to help others.” Why do we underpay these people? Why do we underpay the people we trust with our minds? You are reading this because a teacher taught you. A teacher worked hard to find the resources, pay for the resources, and lose sleep so that you could read. I have had many jobs in my life, I was never expected to pay for materials I needed in work. I have had 2 public service jobs, and if I spent my own money, I was told to give the receipt for what I paid, I shouldn’t be paying for material needed for work, my employer should be. As I have re-read this, I see my own bias, and to the readers who disagree with this I apologize. I apologize that I cannot stay in neutral waters and bring each side to the table to have a calm rational conversation. My mother was a teacher, my wife is a teacher, and I have many friends who are teachers. I admire each one of them. I have heard my wife teaching her kids on these virtual classes. I have had to tiptoe quietly around my own house, so that she can record lessons for kids who are unable to attend the live class online. She always apologizes, and I can’t help but admire the length she will go to make sure her kids get a proper education. I said her kids, not your kids for a reason. She has taken personal responsibility for these kids’ education. She has taken a solemn oath that no matter what she will show up and do the best she possibly can to make sure the kids learn. My wife has cried about the fact that she can’t see the students in person, make that personal connection with them that makes education for both teacher and child so much easier and impactful. Being distance hurts all involved in the process.Don’t misunderstand me though. Schools should stay closed for in person. And before you grab your pitchforks, know this. I am also in school. I am also worried about how my education is being impacted by video learning and losing that in-person touch. I don’t learn as well online as in person. Most people don’t. This is a fact that cannot be denied. I don’t like this; I don’t want my education to be like this. But want and need are two very separate things. I need to live so that I can do my part to make this world a better place. Parents you need people like my wife to educate your child. It is not an easy job. Many of you have learned this, your child is coming more and more to you for help. You are getting frustrated and angry, saying this should be a teacher’s job! Why am I doing this, I didn’t sign up for this when I became a parent. Except you did. When you had a child, you made a promise to society that you would care for this child, mind, body, and soul until they were 18 and adults. For many parents, this obligation doesn’t end when the child turns 18. This obligation dies at the grave. No one expected a pandemic. But who really thinks of worse case scenarios? My mother lost her husband due to cancer with 3 children under 6. Did she plan for this? Did she think this would happen? No. But she was our mother and she did her best to take care of us. And I look at my mouther and am astounded that she did it. I asked her one time. How did you this I would have been a broken and shattered man if that happened to my wife. She smiled and said, you children needed me. You needed to know everything was okay, and you needed a childhood full of love. My mother was broken, she was hurting but she knew her duty to her kids was to be the best mom she could be no matter what. I know this is hard for parents. I have nephews and nieces. The parents of these kids get frustrated, they get mad. That is ok. It is ok to be angry and worried and scared and hurt. Raising a family means sacrifice, a school has never been a daycare, a place to pawn off your kids so you can go to work. School shouldn’t have to pay for you to watch your own kid, or for you to make sure your kids are doing the work. That is on the parent. A teacher’s job is to teach. A parent’s job is to parent. And part of being a parent is saying no, educating them on how to be a good man and women, Help your kids. Part of child development is socialization. We have the technology to do that. If you want them to socialize away from a computer take them to the park, they can talk and chat with friends and other kids there. Teach them socially responsible by keeping them distant. I know you don’t want to have your child break down in public, you think your being embarrassed. Don’t worry about other people’s judgment. You can’t control your child’s emotion or control the reaction to them. Parents will understand and sympathize. Teach them you can’t always get what you want, but that’s ok. Being a parent is hard, I sympathize with you. Some of you are wondering what your going to do about your job, about your child. All I can say is, it is not a school’s responsibility, it is yours. You chose to have a family, now it is time to figure it out. You say having a child has brought joy beyond belief, more love than your heart can handle. So many parents have said that when they had a kid, they grew up a lot, matured a lot. So now you must live up to that responsibility. I have a responsibility to my wife, and the animals I have promised my protection to. I have taken jobs I hated and worked them to provide for them. You will figure this out. You have gotten to this point in your life fighting, and overcoming problems, you can figure this one out. Take a breath and focus.The easy solution to this problem does not exist, the solution that will make everyone happy will not exist. But I will share my 2 bits. Extend school. Extend into the summer so that kids are online for less time a day, thus enhancing learning ability. This does eat into summer break and guaranteed time off for teachers and students alike. Sacrifices must be made, and I think a few weeks is a better sacrifice than a lifetime of missing someone because school opened to soon. Science will help us, just give them the time to do what they need to do. In closing. I have heard that the greatest joy, greatest love, and the most indescribable feeling in the world is to have a child. You can fix an education. You can’t fix dead.To the parents that hate this and revolt against this, that is your decision and I respect it. To the parents who are thinking, I have said this, I have thought. Many of these opinions I have seen and read parents having. This article is for you. This is a love note and a thank you, not just to my wife but to all teachers, who have sacrificed, stressed, ignored your own family, and gave your all so people like me can make something of themselves. Here is my last thought. Good teachers are leaving the school system, its quickly becoming the incompetents and the lazy who are not getting fired, they get to stay because there aren’t enough teachers to go around, guess what. So be proud that because you can’t stand to have your child home, you are giving them a subpar education because decisions like this is driving them out. Thank you.