Secretary of Education Interview on Opening

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mr.history, Jul 10, 2020.

  1. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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  2. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Surviving and recovering don’t always mean the same thing.

    I’m skeptical of your 1.3% without more context. It’s meaningless without knowing the timeframe, the population, and other relevant details.
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I suspect the portion of the numbers we don't have yet deal with the complications that can come as the aftermath to being infected. That plays out as you were healthy, got the viral infection, and now have complications that may dog you for the rest of your life. In that case, you don't actually achieve full recovery. Numbers you see on charts indicate you left the hospital breathing, alive. They don't have the numbers yet for what kinds of long term effects may plague the survivors.

    Since I have had the infection, I will share that I now have some signs of clotting irregularities, as well as persistence of asthma symptoms that I didn't have before. The doctors don't feel that I am capable of transmitting the virus, but rather that these are complications that I may now need to live with. These will affect my disease resistance to lung infections going forward, as well as potentially affecting my cardiac and blood system health. Did I recover or not? I didn't die, but I didn't return to my state of good health, either. Just something to consider. As I understand it, some asymptomatic cases may also result in long term changes that simply take time to show up.
     
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  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    It's along the same lines of mass shootings or bombings, where the number killed is what we all pay attention too, even though there are very often others who leave the scene alive with but life-altering permanent injuries.
     
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  5. minnie

    minnie Habitué

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    https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-05-covid-death.amp
    This was back in May so the info could be different now. Maybe it is higher.
    But I have read that even though the infections are going up, the fatality rate is staying down.
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Yes,I have heard the same from a friend of a friend. She said she "recovered" and didn't even need to be hospitalized at all but her lungs have been affected and she has a persistent cough at times. She was denied access to a hair salon because of her cough even though when they took her temperature it was low and she explained that she had recovered 2 months ago.
     
  7. minnie

    minnie Habitué

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    Vickilyn, I’m very sorry about your health. I’m sure my outlook on all of this would change it I or someone I loved got sick. I’m just mentally exhausted like everyone else.
     
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    When there are less than 20 cases/day for the large county that I live in for 10 straight days, I'd be happy for teachers to return. Today there were over 2900 cases for my county..so it is far too high. For average counties, I would expect 10/cases per day or rural counties 5 cases/day would be okay for me (generarlly speaking). Also if there was a positivity rate of 3% or less for 14 straight days, that would make me feel fine it is okay to teach. One thing is that I am an older age teacher. If I was in my 20s or 30s, I personally would be okay with slightly higher numbers, if I knew the older age teachers were protected and class sizes would be made small for social distancing. I am not okay with how high the numbers are in Arizona right now. Some counties in the US probably should have students returning due to their safer conditions based on the data.
     
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  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Exactly. And not everyone is as "100% healthy" that they assume they are at the time of infection. Organ systems known to be affected by this virus, to date, include the endocrine system, kidneys, heart, vascular system, including clotting, and, of course the pulmonary system. Some of the results of these systems involvement includes heart attacks, blood clots that cause amputation, blood clots to the brain, causing stroke, pulmonary embolism, the so-called covid toes and fingers, the weird rashes seen on pediatric patients, and decreased lung efficiency.

    I wouldn't be so quick to say something like "I'm young - I'll just get over it." Nor would I feel safe getting the disease as I approached 40 - a spot where a lot of teachers are at, or beyond.

    Let me caution readers here not to take your health for granted at any age.
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I couldn't agree more - this has been mentally draining. I thought that maybe the country was on the right track, but, sadly, we seem to be following the predictions of Dr. Fauci, when he said that he wouldn't be surprised if we escalated to as many as 100,000 new cases a day, or more. I think the number I saw recently has us knocking on the door of 80.000 new cases a day, with a majority of states headed in the wrong direction. Positivity rates are rising, and at some alarming rates in some states. So much for this virus just "magically disappearing."
     
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  11. minnie

    minnie Habitué

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  12. bella84

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    I'm in my 30s, and I wouldn't say that my young(er) age makes me any more tolerant of the high numbers. For one thing, I have older people in my life who I care about, people who I don't want to unintentionally transmit the virus to. Another reason is because being young doesn't equate to being healthy. Personally, I'll soon be on immunosuppressant drugs for my own issues, but young people can also be obese, have another disease, such as asthma or diabetes, or be immunocompromised for any other reason. Older people do need to be be cautious, but many young people are at risk and require the same protections.
     
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  13. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Very well said...I agree completely with this.
     
  14. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Comrade

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    There are complications from everything. I had severe pneumonia almost 10 years ago, so I am more prone to coughs in the winter. I broke my foot and now have terrible arthritis in that foot. It is what it is. While I believe that there is a severe problem in this country with the virus, I also believe that the media makes it worse than it is.
     
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  15. CaliforniaRPCV

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    1.3% seems a bit high, if you mean by "succumb" , "die". Internet searches come up with all kinds of results, but the best estimate I see is about 0.8%. That seems low, but it isn't the whole story. Once you get it, you have about 0.8% chance of dying. But you have a much higher chance of getting it than other diseases with higher fatality rates. Bottom line, where there are outbreaks, hospitals are overwhelmed and morgues overflow into refrigerator trucks. And, I agree, dead is one thing. But we don't really know what "recovered" means. This is too new and we don't know what life after covid is like. We don't know what is like for adults. We don't know what it's like for children.

    As far as vaccines go, even with a successful one or two, ramping up production will take some time. Who gets it first? Health workers, of course. Who after that? Shouldn't it be essential workers, like farm, grocery, warehouse... basically all those people in the food supply chain? It may take a while before vaccines get to the level of schools, students or teachers.
     
  16. minnie

    minnie Habitué

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    Which is why I’m very worried about how far this will go for teachers and students.

    But, I absolutely agree it should go to those essential workers first!
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Actually, they are making the vaccine even while they are testing the candidates. They have also bought the syringes and needles that would be needed to administer hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine. This is a new way to create and produce vaccine - I find it exciting, but hey, you can take the science teacher out of the classroom, but you can't take the science out of the teacher! :cool:
     
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  18. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I’ve been told by someone involved in making one of the vaccines (my dad) that they will be widely available before next June. Those at highest risk can expect to see them around January.
     
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  19. MissCeliaB

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    What we did in the spring was *not* online schooling. It was crisis schooling. Teachers and admin have had months to figure out best practices for distance learning, and to train on everything.

    What students are returning to in classrooms is *not* regular school. Teachers will not be able to use the best pedagogy or developmentally appropriate practices. Students will be in rows, unable to collaborate or play, having to clean and disinfect areas, everyone will be wearing masks. Especially for younger students, this will be very different and new for them! There will be no clubs or sports, no lunchtime chats with friends. No pep rallies, no Homecoming dances. Everything that makes the culture and soul of the school is canceled this year.

    If we're looking at a 1% mortality rate, that's 19 students and 1 teacher just at my school. The current positive test rate in my district is just over 7%. That would be 135 students and 8 teachers just at my school, potentially facing life-changing illness, diminished lung capacity, etc. The fact that this is even a conversation that people are having, about real children's lives, is mind boggling.
     
  20. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Bella, I completely agree. I am 25 years old with no risk factors and I hate the idea that all the young/healthy teachers should go back.
    Young people have died and have had lasting health complications from contracting COVID.
    I refuse to risk my health for a job...I just can’t.
     
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  21. whizkid

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    I heard yesterday of asymptomatic people having complications months after contracting it. And yet we're expected to go back in the middle of a pandemic.
     
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  22. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    "Did some teachers take advantage and do next to nothing? Maybe. So did some students."

    That has got to be the most shocking thing I've heard come out of a teacher in a long time. Equivocating? "Well, there were students who used the lockdown as an excuse not to work, so it's not a problem if some teachers did too." Not like we're the adults or anything.

    "Spending all of my time this summer prepping for what might happen in the fall is not going to make me more effective."

    I don't even know where to start with this one. Uhm...yes prepping does make just about anything more effective than trying to make it up on the go. Unless of course you teach students to just come in on test day and 'see what happens'. It doesn't sound to me like you're all that interested in being effective, just reacting adequately.

    "I'll think about what worked for my students in the spring and what didn't and go from there. I'll look back at the feedback I got from students and decide what I need to change."

    That would be 'preparing'. And why in the blue hell wouldn't you do it now, instead of then?
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
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  23. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Perhaps, as ,many have posted, it may not be the time in their district to reinvent the wheel. Why would a teacher spend countless hours preparing specific lessons for either in person or online teaching (which will probably be very different) when they don't yet know which strategy their district will employ. Additionally, this summer break is probably what many people use to reinvigorate, remotivate, or just rest up and deal with the present crisis in their lives. Not all successful teachers live the job 24/7 every day of their lives.
     
  24. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    Sorry, but using the summer like normal isn't viable in an abnormal situation.

    Why would a teacher spend countless hours preparing specific lessons? Maybe they'll get used and maybe they won't. Or you give yourself a baseline to work off of. Maybe just the trial and error. Why would a teacher spend countless hours preparing lessons? It's what we do; we're teachers and no, lessons don't always work. Unless there's some super teacher out there who has batted a thousand on every first draft lesson they ever wrote.

    Why spend the 'countless' hours? Well, I'd say because you care. All I've heard from the union leaders in the news is what we can't, won't or shouldn't do. Guess what they'll be saying when the school year starts? "We weren't given time." Other than all that time...

    And good luck trying to find the wasted time later. Time doesn't come back.
     
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  25. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    You’ve got it all wrong.

    It’s summer break. We’re off duty, not being paid, not being given guidance.

    I don’t know what grade you teach, but I teach elementary, young elementary at that. We don’t “prepare lessons” in advance, at least not more than a week or so ahead of time. We might know our standards and unit goals, but we adapt our lessons as we go, in order to meet our students’ needs and differentiate. There is absolutely no way or reason for me to attempt preparing anything when I don’t know what platforms or expectations my district has planned, nor do I know my students.

    Yes, this summer can be used as a “normal” summer. If ever there was a summer to try and relax, it’s this summer. Personally, I’m filled with anxiety, watching every school board meeting my school has this summer, waiting for some answers. And I’ve also signed up for some extra duty summer work that I can do from home. Beyond that, I’m trying to relax and not think about the details of next year every chance I can, because I still don’t know what guidelines I’ll be working within. So why waste my time? It’s going to be tough year, and I want to be effective. Being calm and rested leads to me being effective. Being burnt out due to having taken no time for myself over the break would lead to me being ineffective.

    In this case, how about you do what you feel is right for you for the coming year, and the rest of us will do what’s right for us? There’s no need for you to bash others, likely more experienced than yourself, for doing what we believe makes the most sense for our individual and local situations. You do you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
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  26. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    "In this case, how about you do what you feel is right for you for the coming year, and the rest of us will do what’s right for us?"

    How about neither? I was considering what's right for the students.
     
  27. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Sometimes what is best for students is to have a well-rested teacher. Actually that’s almost always the case.

    Also, this situation and doing what’s best for students is so much bigger than individual teachers right now. You can only do what is within your realm of control or you’ll burn yourself out.
     
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  28. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    What I learned during my 40+ teaching career is the old adage "the best laid plans..." Like you, in the early years of my career I spent an inordinate amount of planning over the summer. My excuse was, "It was for the kids". Then, most years, we started school and everything changed. We got a new administration who changed how they wanted us to teach. We got new curriculum and all my pre-planned lessons were incompatible. The state standards changed and didn't fit the lessons anymore. My grade level changed at the last minute and the plans didn't fit. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

    So, continue planning "for the kids" but recognize that you are actually doing it to make yourself less anxious about the upcoming year and to make yourself feel like a more effective teacher. You have already proved to us that you are an effective teacher by your dedication and enthusiasm, but it may be time to give yourself a break to rest and relax for a while.
     
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  29. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    This statement is uncalled for. DamienJasper can hold the beliefs that is the responsibility of the professional to prepare themselves even in their "unpaid" times. To say it is because of the anxiety and to make DamienJasper feel more effective just isn't fair.

    You don't know why DamienJasper has this opinion.
     
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  30. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    You misstate my belief in teaching. I personally hate having plans laid so specifically so far in advance. It's one reason that I always went in at 4:00 in the morning. We all know that fluidity is key. But this is a different situation. Completely digitizing curriculum is a lot more work than it sounds like. That is, unless you're the sort who is okay just shuttling the students off to YouTube videos or Khan Academy. I make my own materials because they're my students.

    But back to my original point; I'm not going to apologize for trying to make chicken salad out of chicken s**t. I still get a check every month, I intend to earn it. There were people who make a LOT less than a salaried teacher like me who never got to stop working because they were deemed essential and had no choice.

    So you can tell yourself that you're relaxing all summer because in the end it will make you a better teacher. But I live in July 2020, where up is down and maybe, just maybe, the situation requires more out of us than we're used to giving.

    (And did it ever occur to anyone that other people have to work year round without all this pish-posh about having to 'recharge' or 'recover'?)
     
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  31. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Do you not understand how you get paid? You have already earned the money you are being paid now. It was held out of previous months' checks. You are only paid for the 9-10 months you are contracted for, but the pay is divided out over 12 months.

    We are all living in July 2020. I'm at a point where really all I'm capable of is sitting on my couch in my underwear and watching Hallmark Christmas movies, and if that's what I need to do to emotionally and mentally prepare for next school year, that's what I'll be doing.

    I didn't do nothing this summer: I built the first two units in all four courses that I teach, I tested several programs to see if they were appropriate for my students and reviewed them for IT, I attended three different online education conferences: Teach Your Heart Out, one about Social Justice and Mindset, and one about Trauma-Informed Teaching, and I also read our school-wide summer reading book and prepared lessons about it for when school starts. But, until I know what my school year looks like, and how our LMS will be expected to set up, I'll be on the couch relaxing and enjoying my unpaid time off of work, because I can already tell I'll be putting in the extra hours next year!

    If you want to work yourself into a burnout before the school year starts (for free) then you go right ahead. I've been doing this 16 years, and I know what I need to do prepare for the start of the year. Our district thought they were slick moving the school year back two weeks to "give teachers more time to prepare" but they added the same number of days to the end of the calendar. Teachers now report the 19th of August instead of the 5th, but they keep trying to schedule (unpaid) trainings and workshops for before then and making them mandatory, but that's not happening! I'll start thinking about school on the Monday before teachers report on Wednesday, like I always do. I have an alarm set for August 17th, and until then, it's summer.
     
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  32. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    It sounds to me you did what DamienJasper suggested.
    Did I miss the part where DamienJasper said every day of the summer had to be work related? If so, please show me.
     
  33. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Yes, that has occurred to me. My husband is one of those people. But his work days are shorter, with more downtime during the day, and he takes a week or two off every season to get his recharge and recover time throughout the year. He doesn’t work or even do professional development during his vacation periods, and it’s rare that he does work in the evenings or on weekends. He also gets paid significantly more than I do and can frequently work from home.

    So, yes, I know that other professions don’t get a whole summer to recover, but they have other perks that teachers aren’t in a position to have. I’ll take one of the few perks I get, which is having a summer free of constant focus on students, teaching, and learning... especially because I do always make some time for building my own teaching capacity during the summer through professional reading and other PD, as well as engaging in paid extra duty in the form of curriculum writing and book studies for my district. I truly believe I deserve and need that rest time during the summer - every summer - and, until we go to year round schools with regular extended breaks throughout the year, you won’t convince me otherwise.
     
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  34. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    All this talk about 'burnout'.

    I've never 'burned out' on work before. I haven't been a teacher my whole adult life, so I'm used to working year round. 12-16 hour days have always been normal. This "I only do 7.5 hours a day, 9 months a year and that's all that can reasonably be expected of me" has always proven an enigma to me.

    People have always told me 'you're working too much' or 'you need to slow down'. I know my limits.
     
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  35. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    If all this stuff is 'extra' and you don't really want to do it...I think you see what I'm getting at.

    Did a career change ever occur to you? If all the things you knew you were getting into are just an awful burden, then it sounds like a wrong turn to me.
     
  36. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    You're misunderstanding. The point is that it is extra stuff that I want to do. I am choosing to do it. I am doing it because I enjoy it, particularly because it's mostly on my own terms and my own schedule. I can intersperse PD and the extra duty work I sign up for in between my personal hobbies and relaxing. I am not required to do any of it, and I don't believe that I should be pressured into doing it. Your other posts are inciting pressure and guilt on teachers because they are not doing what you believe they should be doing. I'm suggesting that they are right to only do what they want to do when not being paid. I want to do PD. You want to prepare lessons. Others want to watch Netflix. It's a personal choice because it's unpaid time off from work. It's also within the context of our own settings. Perhaps your district has given you guidance on how to prepare for next school year. Mine has not. I'm not going to start preparing a single thing until I know a bit better how to prepare.

    And, yes, I have considered a career change many times over the course of the last decade, but it was not for the reason you've suggested, and I'm no longer doing so. I'm happy where I'm at, and remaining in education is the most sound decision for me and my family.
     
  37. bella84

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    I think most of us work much more than this. I know that I sure do. For that reason, I do mentally need the downtime that I'm afforded during the summers.
     
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  38. MissCeliaB

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    You are skipping the part where they are judging and belittling teachers who don't agree with them. They are free to spend as much time this summer working on school stuff as they would like to, and I am free to spend time this summer doing exactly what I would like to: professional debelopment I find useful and interesting, but mostly Netflix, nature walks, tie dye, video games, board games, etc. My time is mine, and I will not be pressured or guilted by my school board and especially not by strangers on the Internet. My school board get the time they pay me for, and extra time I want to give, and exactly that much of my time.
     
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  39. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    A true selfless inspiration, to be sure. I'm sure the nurses and healthcare workers would just be moved to tears by the sacrifice of their fellow 'essential workers'.

    "Why don't they pay us more?"
    Not a clue in the world. And why on earth would people choose private schools and online learning academies? Surely they would change their minds if they knew how high my video game scores were. We should probably bring that up next time there's a strike (so long as the strike doesn't cut into binge-watching TV time; professional priorities and all).
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
  40. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jul 19, 2020

    I am removing the contents of my post because I incorrectly stated MissCeliaB said something that a different poster had said.

    I apologize.

    Here is my updated response to the message quoted.

    DamienJasper has a right to believe that teachers should do more outside of their contract hours just as others can believe they should not have to.

    I will also note that you did not respond to my earlier question where he or she said every day of the summer had to be devoted to prepping or learning for teaching.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020

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