As part of Idaho’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan, K-12 teachers are now eligible to receive their first shot. One teacher describes her experience getting the shot.

BOISE, Idaho — Under Idaho’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan, K-12 teachers and staff are now eligible to receive the first dose of the vaccine.

“I think all of us are just getting more and more eager for the school year to look normal again, both physically and socially and emotionally,” said Tiara Boe, a kindergarten teacher at White Pine Elementary in the Boise School District.

Last week, Boe received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a local hospital with two other kindergarten teachers. Along with other teachers, Boe got her vaccine with the support of her kindergarten class.

“I told them before the appointment that the kindergarten teachers were going to go and get the vaccine,” she said. “They just had really funny things to say like, ‘Stay strong’ and ‘Don’t cry’.”

This school year has been especially challenging for both teachers and students. When Boe learned that teachers were eligible for the vaccine, it felt like a light at the end of the tunnel.

“It just felt like a giant step closer to the day when my students can jump into my arms again and we can hug each other and be able to cuddle up and read stories on the rug,” Boe said.

Through the unique school and tough times, she has kept the Boise School District motto in mind: Everything’s possible.

“I think now, and probably for a very long time, when I hear that motto or I read it, I am going to think about the moment that I was sitting there getting my vaccine,” Boe said. “I was overwhelmed with a sense of hope and being able to think that everything is going to be possible again really soon.”

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Through a challenging year for everyone, Boe was honored that teachers were given an early opportunity to get vaccinated. As she got the vaccine, she was thinking of the entire community.

“It does take a village, and while I was very honored that school staff was among the first to receive the vaccine, I am thinking about my grandma and I’m thinking about everybody in Idaho who is equally as deserving as I am,” she said.  

Boe also thinks about her students and hopes they will also be able to get a vaccine in the near future.

“I am excited for the day when I don’t have to tell the kids they can’t high five or elbow bump,” she said. “That really is going to be rewarding, and I will probably take it for granted again.”

Through it all, Boe knows Idaho teachers at all levels appreciate their students during this unique school year.

“The teachers are really proud of you,” she said, speaking of her students. “You have learned an amazing amount of resilience and you’ve gained so much grit this year and you are going to be stronger for it. We are never going to forget your positive attitudes and how hard you worked.”

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