Poll Most parents praise their children’s teachers / Public Information Service

Schools in Pennsylvania have faced an uphill battle in the surge of the omicron variant, which has led to temporary virtual learning after winter break. But a new poll finds parents feel overwhelming support for teachers and for schools’ handling of COVID-19.

In the national survey of 1,300 parents of children in public schools, 72% said their child’s school provided them with an “excellent or good quality” education.

Despite the pandemic challenges of the past two years, said Dan Alderson, a teacher in the Chartiers-Houston School District in Washington County, he has never been more proud of being an educator.

“Students in our classrooms see firsthand what it’s like to learn throughout life just by watching their teachers,” he said, “and they’ve stepped out of their comfort zone. , some of the teachers who weren’t are not familiar with the technology, and they really took the initiative to learn as much as they could.”

In the survey, a big concern among parents is the national teacher shortage, with 65% saying they are “somewhat or very concerned” about it. Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill in December that allows the state to expand its pool of eligible surrogates.

Alderson said one of the many things made clearer about teaching during the pandemic has been the importance of communicating with parents. With many contacts amid last-minute changes to remote learning, he said he thinks it gives parents a better appreciation for the work of a teacher.

“You have to be able to turn a penny and you have to be flexible,” he said. “I think this thing has strengthened that connection between the teacher and the home with the students and the parents. I really think it has allowed me to reach out to my students and get to know them better.”

Other pressing issues for parents that surfaced in the survey include concern over a lack of support staff, such as counselors and nurses, and worries about their children falling behind in school.

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