I mean, it’s not that different. The big difference is that I can now do more in, my opinion, than I could before. Because the problems before, when I had 6 schools, I was physically at 1 school a day and I would have to go to another school. So that’s an hour that’s just dead because I’m traveling between schools for meetings. Now I can just go from meeting to meeting in a matter of seconds. So I’m still doing the same job that I’ve been doing before, which is again, mostly paperwork and assessments of students. So I talk to students on the phone, or through Google Meets, parents, doctor’s office, etc. I can check all their compliance with their shots and exams and whatnot. That’s all the same.
The 1 thing that’s very different this year is actually what I was taught to do when I became a certified school nurse. I’m classified as an educator within the eyes of the state. So what I went to school for was like, “Here’s how you teach health.” But when I got into CPS they’re like, “No, you’re not going to do any teaching. You’re going to sit behind the computer and do all this paperwork because you have 3, 4, 5, 6 schools. You just have to stay on top of the paperwork.” Because they get money for providing services for kids through Medicaid, because that’s how there’s a big amount of funding that comes through that. So all that teaching stuff that you learn how to do, forget about that.
But the one thing that’s been really different this year is that I have gone into dozens of classrooms and done health education. Like for Disney [Magnet School], it’s such a huge school, it’s like 1500 students, I’ve taught almost every single class, 40 or 50 classrooms worth of health education on coronavirus. So I put lessons together, I was able to jump on these classes and teach these kids about where this virus comes from, how we can manage it, how we can reduce transmission. It’s not that PE teachers or health teachers can’t do that, it’s just that I think that nurses are better suited for that job in a sense of being able to talk about those things in a way that helps students understand, “Here’s why you should do this, and not just wear a mask just because they told you so, but let’s go to the actual reasoning behind that.”