A teacher from Arizona said she might quit her job if schools reopen amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Teachers really want to get back to the classroom, but we want to make sure it’s in a safe way for everyone,” Mace added.
The mother-of-three is a former high school English teacher and now mentors ten teachers and does in-class observations. She's also been helping her children with virtual learning since the start of the pandemic.
The state of Arizona has announced that when schools do reopen, parents can choose to continue virtual learning or send them back into the schools. Students who return to classrooms will still be learning online, but with a teacher monitoring them.
“If I am asked to go back Aug. 17 I will consider FMLA [Family Medical Leave Act] until I feel it’s safer for my children to go back,” Mace said. “I believe the reason we are pushing to open schools so early is we will lose federal funding.”
If Mace and her husband have to return to work, she still doesn’t feel comfortable sending her kids back into a school building. But she and her husband also don't have backup childcare to watch their kids.
She hopes school districts will be flexible with teachers who are also homeschooling their own children.
"I fully believe that I could complete all the duties that my job entails, so long as I know I have their support to be flexible," Mace said.
And while she loves teaching, walking away from the profession is something she is seriously considering.
“I do not want to quit. I’ll do everything in my power to not quit but I have to consider it," she added. "I love my job. I want to go back."