NIXA, Mo. — Local teachers are excited after Missouri’s governor said over 500,000 more state residents will get vaccinated for COVID-19 in March 2021.
Phase 1B, or tier three, includes teachers, childcare providers, grocery store staff, agricultural workers, and more.
In the Nixa School District, nearly 50% of all staff said they want to get the vaccine. Teachers say the vaccine is not for themself, but for their students well being.
Chris Wilson, a fourth-grade teacher, said he understands why teachers needed to wait, but he is ready for teachers to be protected.
“I want to be able to meet with students who are not necessarily in my classroom,” said Wilson. “I want us to be able to have some of those interactions because if we want our kids to do well academically, they have to do well socially and emotionally.”
The district is working with five providers to be ready for when all school staff is eligible to get the shot on March 15.
“They need to be able to come to see a teacher they used to have and just say hi and that teacher go ‘Oh my goodness. Look at you. I’m so proud of you and we have lunches together or just even those quick meetings,” said Wilson.
Taylor Shaeffer, a music teacher, said she is looking forward to students returning to some normalcy.
“I mean people they remember their musical in first grade, that line they had, that song they had,” said Shaeffer. “Those are lifelong skills and memories have they’re creating and we want to get back to that.”
Governor Mike Parson said more than 12% of the Missouri population got at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Gov. Parson hopes to move to Phase two of the vaccination plan by the end of April.