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'You have to have your guard up.' Teachers cautiously prepare for another school year during a pandemic

Delta variant cases barrel through the country mere weeks before school doors reopen.

TEXAS, USA — The countdown to the 2021-2022 school year is on.

East Texas educator and reading specialist Adrienne Barnes was hopeful that this school year would look differently than the last one.

“We thought we were almost out of it, you know, it looked really good for a while," she said.

That was until the Delta variant started barreling through the country. Now, teachers including Barnes and Eleanore Malone with Chapel Hill ISD feel like all they can do is buckle down and prepare for whatever happens.

“I'm gonna take my vitamins just because as a teacher, period, because we're getting 20 different germs from 20 different kids," Barnes said.

“Actually, I keep hand sanitizer in my pocket. Also, sometimes when I'm closer to the kids, I'll wear my mask," Malone added.

When asked if she's concerned about new spikes in cases when all of the students come back, Malone said yes.

"You will have those kids and parents who will be very defiant," Malone said. "And their parents are like, 'you don't have to wear your mask. I don't care what that teacher says' or whatever. And the kids come to school with that same type of attitude. So, yes, you have your guard up. It's scary.”

These teachers agree that the best course of action when dealing with kids too young to get vaccinated is to stick with what’s tried and true- hand washing, wearing masks and these teachers emphasize patience. 

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