BROWNSVILLE (KVEO) — Texas teachers are now eligible to receive the vaccine and the Brownsville Independent School District (BISD) will be vaccinating one thousand employees on Saturday as more school districts join the effort.
“The fact that we got the vaccine is a relief…But we could’ve used it a lot sooner,” said Martin Leal, Texas history teacher at Stell Middle School in Brownsville.
Leal is one of many who are finally registered for the vaccine clinic that will take place at Veterans Memorial Early College High School on Saturday.
BISD Superintendent René Gutiérrez said that one thousand employees registered in just 7 minutes.
“Yesterday we were informed by the city of Brownsville that they have received a thousand vaccines from the county, and they were going to forward us those thousand for our employees,” said Gutierrez.
With vaccine rollouts for educators, there are hopes of returning to in-person learning.
“We’re not worried just about the academic part, but we’re worried about the social-emotional—so right now the students are not getting that support that they’re used to getting,” said Obed Leal, principal of Stell Middle School.
Principal Leal is also registered to be vaccinated and is happy to be a part of a group that’s next in line.
“With the vaccines, teachers will feel more confident, hopefully, parents will feel more comfortable,” said Obed Leal.
Teachers say they miss their in-person relationships with their students and are looking for some normalcy to return.
“I can learn a lot about a kid just from observing them and talking to them, but when I am on the screen…I can’t,” said Martin Leal.
The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley in Harlingen hosted a vaccine clinic for educators that have been registered for months who are finally they are able to receive their first doses.
At UTRGV multiple teachers shared their feelings about being vaccinated:
“I am also relieved that I feel like I am not going to put my family in danger anymore,” said one teacher.