The Feb. 7 front-page article “For some ‘in-person’ classes, the person won’t be a teacher” ignored some critical facts. It stated “parents in the Washington region were thrilled” in-person learning would resume. The truth is some parents were thrilled. Plenty weren’t. Also, we need an extra teacher for every class that is being split between virtual and in-class learning, as it has been proved that one teacher cannot successfully do both simultaneously. But the political will does not exist to hire those teachers. Students will learn even less while teachers are being asked to do the impossible. And, though the monitors might be new for Virginia and Maryland, D.C. schools have been doing this — and it is working. It provides a safe and supported learning environment for the kids who cannot get that at home, serving a critical need for the most vulnerable. Finally, it is ridiculous that teachers are being forced back. There is an irrefutable risk in being indoors all day with other people. Teachers should be given the option of returning, especially before they are protected by the vaccine.

We are still in the throes of a pandemic, and as much as we don’t like that, we must face reality and the limits it poses. 

Wendy Cronin, Washington

As one of the “babysitters” referenced in the Feb. 7 front-page article “For some ‘in-person’ classes, the person won’t be a teacher,” I would like to offer my opinion as to their worth. I absolutely agree that teachers should return to in-person teaching, particularly those given priority for vaccinations. As a monitor, I do not consider myself a teacher, although I do assist students who need help with assignments. Is this the same as being taught in a classroom? No, but what I do see is these students now have the opportunity to interact socially — and the ability to consult and talk with peers, which is no small thing.

School is about academic learning, but it is also about relating to and working with others, and that can happen with a monitor as well as a teacher.

Pam Doran, Arlington