MIDLAND, Texas — Education during a pandemic has not been easy. Not on the students, not on the parents, and not on the teachers.
When the Texas Department of State Health Services announced that school employees were immediately eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, teachers felt a sense of relief.
"I was super excited and honestly relieved because it’s kind of one of those things where it’s one less burden on us in the classroom to have to think about because not only are we thinking about our student's safety of course, that’s always our first priority and our first thought, but then again also our safety now has been an issue," Samantha Stahl, a teacher at Santa Rita Elementary said.
This past year has been a difficult one for teachers due the nature of moving back and forth between online and in-person learning.
"It was very difficult juggling both online and in person because you want to give 100% to your students no matter if they’re online and no matter if they’re in person, but it’s hard to give 100% both ways. It takes a lot out of you," Stahl said.
Not only the juggling act, but the pandemic also forced teachers to adapt to new methods of teaching.
"I think the biggest struggle was just the prep work of it all. Going from you know we are taught, we are trained to make everything as hands-on as we possibly can to make it super engaging for the kids," Stahl said.
With the vaccine now widely available to teachers, Stahl is happy that every teacher now has the option to get the vaccine immediately.
"Even if you are choosing not to get the vaccine, it’s one of those 'we now have a choice, we now can choose an extra precaution for ourselves' and so that is what's a big relief. We now have a choice," Stahl said.