Teachers in Uniform

Estancia, New Mexico, is one of the many cities that New Mexico employed to have National Guard troops teaching in classrooms. New Mexico shared National Guard staff in the education industry because there had been a shortage of teachers when the pandemic hit. Many teachers quit teaching in school because of the complications over teaching on Zoom, ongrowing depression, or to keep themselves safe from spreading the disease.

New Mexico is not the only state that outsourced military personnel into their classrooms. Massachusetts allowed National Guard troops to drive school buses. Oklahoma had police officers be substitute teachers in their schools.

When teachers saw this temporary solution, it brought mixed reactions. Some teachers feel that the state is doing this to avoid paying higher for teachers. There are teachers who left the education system because of low pay. Some families are worried because there were negative views on uniformed people in the media and television, and their uniforms would scare the children. With military personnel involvement in New Mexico, the community so far has welcomed them with open arms because this significantly supported them in continuing education for the children even in the most difficult of times. The teachers were given a choice to wear civilian clothes or military clothes. Cindy L. Sims, the superintendent of Estancia Municipal School District, wore the uniform because she wanted to invoke strength to her community. She wanted to show the school where she came from before she got involved with education. She stated, “Our mission is to keep hope alive, and the National Guard is helping us do that.”

One of the freshmen in high school appreciated that there were uniformed teachers who helped fill in the position. Veronica Pería, a fellow freshman, said that she was receiving bad grades during the pandemic because it was difficult to follow with class online. Being able to see the teacher in class allowed her to ask for help whenever it is needed.


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