Teaching at the Epicenter of the Pandemic, In a District Too Exhausted for Fear

A conversation with with Casey Scully, a former elementary-school teacher and current high-school math interventionist in Charleston, South Carolina.

Maximillian Alvarez

A teacher speaks with a student between classes at Rippowam Middle School on September 14, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

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For many around the country, the new school year has already begun. And many districts are pushing through with in-person schooling, even though we are in the midst of another COVID-19 spike, with new cases around the country rising to their highest point since January. With large swathes of the population still unvaccinated, including 50 million children nationwide under the age of 12, with vaccine and mask mandates having become another contentious subject of culture war hysteria, and with the more contagious Delta variant spreading like wildfire, school districts around the country appear to be on yet another collision course with COVID spikes that will lead to panicked returns to remote learning after a large amount of students, teachers, staff, and parents get infected. This week, we talk with Casey Scully, a former elementary-school teacher and current high-school math interventionist in Charleston, South Carolina. We discuss the path that led Casey to become an educator, how she has navigated the past year and a half, and what she and her coworkers are currently experiencing with schools reopening.

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Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemu​si​carchive​.org)

  • Jules Taylor, Working People Theme Song”
  • Jules Taylor, Carolina King”
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Maximillian Alvarez is a writer and editor based in Baltimore and the host of Working People, a podcast by, for, and about the working class today.” His work has been featured in venues like In These Times, The Nation, The Baffler, Current Affairs, and The New Republic.

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