I guess it's my turn to have a freak out about all this

Discussion in 'General Education' started by DamienJasper, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    Mar 23, 2020

    Well, it's been a week at home, with increasingly worse world news.

    A little about me I guess. I'm a middle school teacher in rural Idaho. It took me a lot of years to get here and (here's where I've been afraid of sounding selfish) I can honestly say I felt like I'd found my place in the world. I loved my job. It's been said that so often we're so concerned with what we're getting up to do to make a living that we forget why we're doing it. I considered myself unreasonably fortunate in that my what WAS my why; what I got up to do is why I wanted to get up. A real blessing and one I waited a long time for. 14 hour days were actually a joy for me.

    But then...you know. We've been called for at least 4/20. I'm sure there's those reading or others who would say "Teacher? You're still getting paid, what are YOU worried about?". And yes; this is technically true. I'm not an employee of an airline, restaurant, barber shop, retail outlet, etc. So I haven't had the awful circumstance of being laid off and not knowing what comes next food and shelter wise.

    However...I had been telling people since November that good days were like having all the riches of the world. And I"m pretty sure I haven't been good enough in life to enjoy all the riches of the world. Leaving my classroom last week felt like leaving a tomb. I miss it desperately. I'm hoping it wasn't "goodbye".

    I guess what I'm getting at (and I'll understand if you think less of me) is that is the worst case scenario economic crash, no job is safe, not even a government job. Who needs schooling when there's no food or shelter?

    Maybe I should be grateful for the time I had; I've only been teaching since last year. But as I hole up at home (as instructed), it's hard not to look at the constant feed of bad economic and pandemic news. Did you ever see The Road?

    Sorry for being long winded. I appreciate it if you took the time to read.
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Damienjasper, I feel your pain. I know how difficult it is to keep a positive outlook when all around you is nothing but doom and gloom.

    Fortunately, even though the future seems bleak right now, things will get better. School may not get back until after the summer, but you can use the extra time at home right now to help your students make positive memories. You can be their support system so they come out of this feeling better about themselves.

    If you need some positive support for yourself right now, search out for those stories about people helping each other right now. Let those stories bring a smile to your face and a sense of hope for the immediate future.
     
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  4. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    Mar 23, 2020

    If I could be sort of a nitpicker;

    What makes you say things will get better?
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Mar 24, 2020

    OP, you have two choices, and they go something like this: 1. You buy in to the doom, despair, and lose all hope for the life you have enjoyed to ever come around again. OR 2. You have some faith that this isn't the end of the world as we know it, despite some setbacks in the current time frame. Scientists find cures, smart people come up with solutions to the ills we are now afraid of, and life goes on, maybe even better than it was before.

    We always have choices in how we perceive the future. I am a "glass half full" kind of person, but your post indicates that you will actually take some satisfaction in being right about the doom and gloom that you are predicting to surely be our lot in the near future. After all, you have been forecasting the worst since November. You don't want to be told why things may work out and the world won't end - you want to say "I told you so."

    Time will tell, won't it? I choose to deal with circumstances that I can directly influence. I would take no pleasure in saying "told you so" when doom and gloom is all that I can share with those who are my family and friends who may be struggling to stay on an even keel, unsure of how to cope. I see nothing positive in accepting your outlook, but if you do, enjoy it.
     
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  6. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    Mar 24, 2020

    Egads; I think you took some of what I said wrong. Maybe I should clarify.

    (First off, I appreciate your reply)

    Saying that I don’t deserve “the riches of the world” was/is my figurative way of expressing how much I love my days of teaching. It wasn’t meant as a prediction of doom. Just kind of a hyperbolic way of saying “I’m a really lucky guy.” That’s all. It just seems a tad ironic right now.

    As far as being a nitpicker vs glass half full type; it’s not that I’m looking for evidence of things to be gloomy about. You say you prefer to look at the bright side. Fair enough if that works for you. I'm not going to bicker about it. I’m hardwired to not really just believe in something because it would make me feel better; I need information or reasons to chew on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    My suggestion is to not assume that no job is safe, that all there is to look forward to is doom and despair, that being a teacher will be useless "when there's no food or shelter". My suggestion is that you spend less time watching the news - the news channels can feed your fears. Limit your time, maybe one hour spread out over the entire time, and then find something else to do. Do you really need more news about the pandemic and politicians who all have a point of view to sell? There are politicians out there that change what they say from one hour to the next - why subject yourself to that? I choose what factors I allow myself to accept, and which ones that I believe are simply out there to sensationalize a situation for ratings. I'm not ready to give up on the world.
     
  8. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    Mar 24, 2020

    I’m a little fuzzy here;

    “What factors I choose to accept”

    Facts are facts whether we choose to accept them or not, no? Or am I not getting your meaning?
     
  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Worse case scenario: School does not reopen in the fall. What would happen to all the teachers?
     
  10. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    That’s what’s weighing on my mind (along with a few other not so inconsequential things).
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    They would tutor. But really, you think a world that is working to send people to Mars is going to abandon school?
     
  12. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Rookie

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    At this point in time, those who sit at home and keep a physical distance also serve. Strange, but true. Stranger still, that can be a tough job. Doing nothing while things degrade around you isn't a great situation for a person trained to help. But hang in there. Better, just hang out. You are keeping yourself and others safe.

    That's flippant. I'm sorry. Some might not appreciate it, others might.

    I do think it's an opportunity to think about how to make things better on the other side of this. Is your district trying to do any online teaching? How can that be made better? If the stop goes beyond 4/20, will there be new ideas on how to proceed with learning outside a physical classroom?
     
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  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Mar 24, 2020

    Since we don't get into politics on this forum, I will simply stick with "what factors I allow myself to accept" and point out that many people seem very "flexible" in their opinions, often changing what they have stated from the beginning of a broadcast and the end of the same broadcast. I should like to point out that someone raising their voice and speaking louder doesn't make what they say factual.

    I'm not worried about school not opening in the fall. Work is underway for an effective vaccine. Even without a vaccine, districts would be able to work to get the kinks out of online teaching. I'm really not ready to give serious thought to the world abandoning education.
     
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  14. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    We just need to take one day at a time and do the best we can in whatever situation we're in. Everyone is in the same boat so don't be hard on yourself. People are stressing themselves out by constantly watching news and reading things online. Really, just limit it and focus on your students for now.
     
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  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    No, I don’t think they are going to abandon teachers. I’m saying this: If school doesn’t resume because the virus isn’t fully contained (some analysts said this pandemic could last 18 months), then what are school districts who haven’t or can’t make the transition to distance learning going to do? Are they just going to keep passing out food?
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
  16. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I'm generally a glass half full person, so I am guessing that the pandemic will not last 18 months. China has announced that they will lift the quarantine on Wuhan in a couple of weeks. If the US can follow the same time line, we may see positive things happening within a couple of months. Hope springs eternal!
     
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  17. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I imagine we may have a shift in what education looks like. I honestly think many teachers would still teach and make money doing so in one way or another. People will still demand schools of some sort.
     
  18. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I may be missing something but the thought of schools not opening until fall doesn't leave me in despair for myself. If leaves me in worry for students who are possibly getting behind and all the graduates who know may or may not get to graduate, definitely can't have the ceremony, etc.
    But as a teacher that way I look at it is that I have a contract until June 30th so I know I'm getting paid and during the summer I wouldn't work anyways. When schools reopen, and they will reopen, I will be getting back to work like before. So what is the worry from the employment side?

    And things WILL get better. We are not dying out as a species from this virus, we are not staying on lock down for months, we will get a handle on this. Either the isolation will help eliminate the virus, or the hot summer heat will kill it, or more likely we will get a vaccine for it.
    I would suggest to focus on the NOW and stay positive.
    There are people out there worried, in financial turmoil and they're lives are turned upside down. I feel that we, teachers, at least are in a safe situation jobwise.
     
  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    My employment hasn’t been affected as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic at all, but it has for many of my friends. Small businesses and teachers can’t stay at home forever and they can’t afford for this to continue as it has been. They need to be able to provide for themselves and their families. The public school teachers will continue to be paid for their current contracts, at least here in CA, but next year is a toss up.

    We are looking at millions and millions of people losing their livelihoods, especially small business owners. They can’t maintain their business with zero customers in the long term...
     
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  20. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Well, yes of course I understand the jobs of people who are not teachers. I was specifically talking about tachers, and only teachers here because the OP said he was kinda freaking out and he's a teacher. I' not ignorant or insensitive about others, like said their lives have been turned upside down. But in my opinion teachers are ok.

    Now, I don't actually know about private school teachers, I thought their situation would be the same as public schools, but not sure.
    Also, why do you think next year is a toss up? I don't anticipate teachers losing their jobs because of this next year. There will be school and teachers will be needed, no?
     
  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    School will always be needed and teachers, by extension, will be, too. However, The Governor of CA and others have said this could last four months, six months, nine months, longer? No one knows. Not all schools have the funds, apparently, or the resources to handle distance learning. That is going to be a huge problem, especially for low-income families without internet access or electronic devices with Wi-Fi capability. There are local schools around me that are ill-equipped or simply don’t know what to do and they are extremely worried...

    My private school is fine, but it’s not all about us. I am very concerned for my colleagues elsewhere.
     
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  22. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Well, I'm already supposedly non-renewed, so I guess I will see how my life goes.
     
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  23. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Is it because of this situation?
     
  24. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Well, I'm hoping that if this goes into next year like this, our president will come up with some kind of funding for schools to help out distance learning. XFinity already offers free hotspots all over the place, we would just need funds to ensure every family has a computer / tablet and access to the internet.

    Do you really think this will continue in the fall? I really believe that by fall everything will be back to normal, but right now we might have all schools closed for the rest of this year.
     
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  25. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    No, I was nonrenewed last month due to low enrollment.
     
  26. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Rookie

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    This could last for a long time. A vaccine is at least a year away. Lockdowns are inconsistent and that is likely to cause flareups even as things start to improve. I think we are looking at more than a couple months. A couple months is more toward the Chinese/South Korea/Singapore model, which we aren't doing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
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  27. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Oh. My. God. That’s horrible!
     
  28. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Absolutely right! This is not good at all.
     
  29. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Another possibility is that we will elect a new president. I'm not naming names, but simply stating that we have an election in our future, so change is definitely a possibility.
     
  30. whizkid

    whizkid Habitué

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    [​IMG]
     
  31. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Realistically, I don’t think this will be lifted in the fall. I think distance learning is going to be the new educational model for a while. Healthcare workers are being overwhelmed and they say that if the social distancing restrictions are lifted too soon that upwards of 50% of the US population could be affected. This is not looking good. The flattened infection curve is the only thing preventing them from having to ration medical supplies right now.

    Schools reopening in the fall is looking to be a pipe dream at this point...
     
  32. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I certainly hope, for everyone's sake, that your prediction doesn't come true. If what you think actually happens, I would imagine that many of the schools could use their operating budget to put distance learning in place more effectively.
     
  33. whizkid

    whizkid Habitué

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    Future, I think you're batting 1.000 with this one.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/publ...uble-down-on-social-distancing-150426379.html
     
  34. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Well, there are some actual virtual schools that are online exclusively but I'm assuming a lot of planning goes into that as well as certain programs and technology given to the students. Maybe some more online schools will pop up but they won't totally replace brick and mortar schools.
     
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  35. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Schools will be okay...Distance learning will have to be the new norm for a while....Funding will go towards providing the needed equipment and devices to make it happen.
     
  36. whizkid

    whizkid Habitué

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    Yea, that'll be those with the financial resources. That certainly won't include us.
     
  37. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I really want to go back to school. I’m still working, of course, and talk to parents for 4 hours a day as I’m handing out food. They’re frustrated and stressed. They’re trying (some are, at least) to teach their kids at home and it’s just not working for many reasons: lots of kids in the house (most of my kids live in apartment complexes), we haven’t checked out devices to students yet, so they’re using their guardian’s phone, no supervision for some students, and inability to help (language barrier).

    On a positive note, I am feeling incredibly appreciated by the parents. They keep telling me how thankful they are for teachers and admin.
     
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  38. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    That's why I think I'm going to be at the next lunch handout at my school. Try to get into a routine of some sort; I've yet to really settle into one as a 'distance learning' teacher. And who knows; maybe see some of my students.
     
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  39. Missy

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    I would love to go and help pass out food at my school, but Ohio has very strict guidelines in place, and my district is only allowing principals and central office to go in.
     
  40. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I’d definitely check with admin before heading to the site. The regulations vary by state. Here in CA, for example, “essential staff” are the only people allowed on campus right now, so you may not get welcomed with open arms if you make an unannounced visit.
     
  41. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Devotee

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    I am so sorry you are having a hard time right now. I miss most of the kids too.
    It is a great idea for you to go back and sign up to hand out stuff, so you can see the kids. It will add to your structure and let you see the kids.
    Being holed up is hard for me too. I have to be careful not to become a workaholic. This online teaching is time consuming and really stressing me out now. Well, not at this moment because I decided to make myself take Saturday off!
    The only advice I have is if you are listening to the news, turn it off. Maybe listen once a day for a few minutes. The people I know who watch CNN or any of those types of news shows that run constantly w/ the same stories are feeling very bad too. I do not have access to that kind of news and it is probably a good thing!
     

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