‘Our kids need normalcy’: Topeka teachers share experience getting COVID-19 vaccine

Education 21st Century

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Amy Watson teaches language arts at Jardine Middle School in Topeka.

When she learned the wait to get the coronavirus vaccine was over, she couldn’t have been happier.

“I was incredibly excited because I knew that it was really going to change what was happening in education right now,” Watson said.

Watson said the empty halls at Jardine have been difficult to handle.

“It’s just been a real struggle not being able to be in school with the kids,” Watson said.

She feels hopeful that she and other educators’ decision to get vaccinated is the right step in sharing experiences with her students again full-time.

“High fives in the hallway and you know just those really important conversations that you can only have in that moment, with that student,” Watson said.

So when Jardine’s Principal Mike Haire said vaccine sign-ups were open to teachers, she wanted to get a spot first thing the next morning.

“Knowing that it was going to allow us to do what we do best as educators and that’s be in the room, and an active, physical participant in our students’ lives,” Watson said.

Principal Mike Haire agreed and said that was one of his motivators in getting the vaccine.

“Our kids right now need normalcy and normalcy means being back in the classroom if they want to be,” Haire said. “Being around all the friends, being able to sit next to each other.”

Watson, along with her fellow coworkers got vaccinated at the Stormont Vail clinic last week.

She said she had some arm soreness that went away that day, but experienced no other symptoms.

“It was just kind of an incredible experience to be part of this group of people who are trying to keep other people safe,” Watson said.

For more on getting teachers vaccinated, click here.

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December 31 2021 11:59 pm