Stop Making Teachers Feel Guilty for Having Reasonable Questions!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by RainStorm, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    You can read the entire post at https://www.facebook.com/JillianSta...061637975221/3100881536659873/?type=3&theater

    Many of you work in districts that are including teachers in addressing concerns and making plans, but there are also a lot of us who are in districts (or states) that have completely left teachers out of the process.

    Additionally, many parents and parents' groups are acting as if teachers don't want to go back or don't want to work, and this is the furthest thing from the truth. All we want is to be a safe as possible, for ourselves, our students, and our families. I read and hear all kinds of rude comments about how other professions have had to work the entire time, and that teachers are just wanting to be a lazy and earn money without having to work, and this makes my blood boil. Other than daycare workers, who else besides teachers is stuffed into a little classroom full-to-overflowing with germ-factory children for 7+ hours a day, in ancient schools with barely functioning air ventilation (and in most cases, windows that can't even be opened, either for physical reasons or for safety reasons)?

    I could go on and on here, but I won't. I just want someone to hear my point, which is "Why are teachers being villainized for simply asking reasonable questions, for which, at this time, there are no answers?

    Here in Florida, our governor announced two days ago that all public schools must be open a minimum of 5 days per week, for ALL students (no hybrid models can even be considered.) Our classes in Florida start the week of August 13th. That is in 4 short weeks. Yes, in 4 short weeks, students will be flooding into the public schools here (especially in the low income areas, where parents can't stay home to do online or who don't have access to reliable wifi or adult supervision.) Are the masks for teachers there yet? No. Have the plexiglass dividers arrived or been installed in the reception area? No. Are the additional cleaning supplies there? Nope. Have any additional cleaning staff been hired, vetted, and trained? Nope. Are additional subs available for when teachers are quarantined? No, and we didn't have enough subs before this -- even to the point that Florida lowered the requirements to be a sub to just needing a high school diploma and they STILL can't get subs.) The typical way of dealing with teacher absence here is to split the class, and give the other teachers a small end-of-the-year stipend for overcrowding their already overcrowded class. So if you class (that has a max capacity of 18) is already at 28 students (totally typical here) and another teacher is absent, you will get 5-8 of her students in addition to your 28 students.

    How on earth is everything that needs to happen to meet the governor's requirements going to happen in less than 4 weeks? I know at our school, if a teacher quits, it typically takes a month and a half for a replacement to be hired, vetted, processed, and allowed in the classroom. I just don't see how any of this can reasonably happen.
     
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  3. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    That's not to consider the health of the staff or students, that's to appease certain political allies.
     
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    These questions are so good. I have wondered all of these things!
     
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  5. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    A minimum of 5 days per week? Does that mean it could possibly be more? It shows how DUMB the whole thing sounds to begin with!!!!!!!! So sorry for those of you in Florida.
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Some of the Florida county administrators have said they will not follow the gov's orders if their county is not ready. Good for them!
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I listened to an interview with the governor of Connecticut today who said that he considers teachers essential workers and will be required to work.
     
  8. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Our state is being very cautious. All of the school districts were told they had to have a reopening plan IF we reopen in September. It's up to each state to determine if they can open SAFELY. Not just reopen willy nilly.
     
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  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm trying not to think about what September will bring here; I'm following the advice of my principal and trying not to think about school for the month of July. My sense is that we will be starting school with a hybrid model of some kind, with cohorts of students attending on alternating days or weeks. It will be interesting to see how many parents decide not to send their children back, and who will be responsible for providing the remote learning for those students. Our numbers in Ontario are pretty low; well below 200 new cases/day for the past few weeks, but as things start to open up more, it will be interesting to see what happens.

    I worry about all of the adults--school and childcare staff and adults at home. A common social media comment seems to be that older teachers or those with medical concerns should just retire or find another job if they are reluctant to go back to school and let the "young, healthy" teachers work. There's going to be risk, whatever school looks like in the fall. I would like to think that those making the decisions keep health at the forefront, but I fear that that won't be the case.
     
  10. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Those of you who don't start until September have more time to think and plan. Here in Florida, at least in my area, the kid's first day of school is August 10th. So that's in 4 weeks! SMH
     
  11. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    I am honestly 2 seconds away from quitting. It's just not worth it anymore.
     
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  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    So true; I'm glad that we have at least a little more time.
     
  13. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    I'd have a huge focus on connectivity and then reopening schools. What happens if you have to close two weeks into school?
     
  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Here it's even more up in the air than before (Central Valley, Ca). Now the governor started closing things in several counties, including mine. Restaurants cannot have inside seating, and family entertainment, bars, etc. are now closed I believe.
     
  15. Secondary Teach

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    I've heard today that schools and districts would even lose funding if they don't open. I'm not going to get political, but that announcement just came out today from the most powerful person in our nation! That's obviously going to force some schools/districts to try to open, so as to not lose their funding.
     
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  16. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Yeah. I know we aren't supposed to get political here. But ...yeah. And further, in my district many students take mass transit to school. I am using the next few weeks to move all of my classes to our district's on line platform and hoping, hoping that we will be allowed to teach remotely until it really is safe to return. And like ecteach, I am wondering if it is time to rethink my career. Not that there are many choices out there, but this one, as much as I love it, just doesn't seem feasible if it moves in the direction of stuffing us all back into the room and just um, stay away from each other, and keep your masks on folks. yeah, right.
     
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  17. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    It sounds like my district will have some teachers teaching virtually from home and others teaching in person, at school. No word yet on how it will be decided who does what or what instruction will look like either way.
     
  18. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Haha Secondary Teach - I wrote my response without seeing yours. This is the thing. Our career has become politicalized. (Is that a word?) This disease has become politicalized. It seems that every view on everything means we are either completely one direction or another. I wrote a lot more and then cut it. I am sad and angry and thankful for this forum to know that I am not alone.
     
  19. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

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    School districts(& the Archdiocese<s>, that I teach for) should definitely be offering teachers more pay this upcoming year because of all the extra work/risk involved. And it's sad that there won't be any extra pay for the teachers because the districts just don't have the money. Instead of hiring more faculty and staff, there's more layoffs happening because of low budgets! I just don't see how there will be enough teachers to fill the classrooms. Between the layoffs and all the extra work/risk involved...I can only see there being a mass exodus of teachers during the school year. Unions will likely be demanding better PPE/pay for the teachers as well. This is all if schools don't shutdown and go back to total online learning this upcoming school year.
     
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  20. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Our county, here in Florida, had just announced that middle school and high school would be hybrid classes, with 2 days in school, 2 days online, 1 day plan/sanitizing, and that the final reveal of the plan would be on July 14th. Then, on July 6, our governor announced that it was mandatory for ALL public schools to be open five days per week for ALL students, and to open on time (which is in less than a month). So I'm guessing the plan our county was getting ready to announce on the 14th of hybrid classes has just gone right out the window.

    Of course, right now in Florida, many counties are closing bars and restaurants back down and going back to requiring (or suggesting) masks because of the horrible uptick in cases here. I mean, this is Florida, they live and die by the tourist dollar. Our beaches are packed, and almost no one is social distancing or staying home, especially in the tourist areas. Even Disney is getting ready to open back up. And meanwhile, the headlines read "Dozens" (56+) hospitals here in Florida hotspots are at ICU capacity with virus cases. Dozens more are close to capacity as the virus rages.

    Yeah, Florida is ready to open their doors to 100% capacity, in-person, 5 days per week, in less than 28 days from now. (end sarcasm)

    And in my county, they open the school year short on certified teachers every single year, with many classes being taught by non-certified subs. It was so bad here last year (every time any of our teachers were out, we had to split classes, and this was in elementary) that in 2019 they lowered the standards for subs to just needing a high school diploma (and a clean record in the area of crimes against children, and being at least 21 years old) to be a sub. They still can't get enough subs.

    Of course, here if you just have the high school diploma, you can make $89 per day (44 per half day) but if you have a bachelor's you can make $100 per day ($50 per half day). A full day for a sub is 8 hours (our teachers work 8.5 per day) so that means you'd make $11.13-$12.50 per hour equivalent. Jobs working at McDonald's here start at $16 per hour with no experience.

    As a sub, would you be willing to go into a school that has teachers out with the virus or in quarantine for $12 a hour? The people here who deliver for the grocery store make more than that per hour in tips.

    And I have to ask -- how good of an education is a 21 year old with a high school diploma able to give in say, calculus or biology? How about in American Literature? Do they know how to teach a 6 year old to make short vowel sounds? I realize Laura Ingalls Wilder became a teacher at age 15, but lets be real, things are much different now. There is more to learning now than reciting from a history book, or learning a nation-wide spelling list.
     
  21. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    Need to be online until the cases drop considerably nationwide.
     
  22. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I go back August 3rd. We were supposed to get kids August 6th, but they have extended it until August 12 for some reason. DH’s school has postponed u til August 25, but I’m not sure when he starts.
     
  23. mrsf70

    mrsf70 Companion

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    I have been offered a job 55 minutes from home (easy drive) in a private school at a significantly lower salary, but with only 30 students total in grades 6-8. The building is K-8, a total of 118 students. Social distancing is not an issue with only 10 students in a classroom.

    My district is basically doing nothing different to start school. They can't afford to implement the needed changes. Not to mention our ventilation is terrible, and our windows, if you have them in your room, don't open. There might be a bit of extra cleaning, but the student numbers will be the same, anywhere from 25-35 per class.

    I have to decide today if I am taking the new position. I don't want to change out of fear and anxiety, but I have to admit, I am terrified to go back on August 6.
     
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  24. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    If I knew I could afford the pay cut I would jump on that new job so fast! It sounds ideal.
     
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  25. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Someone posted in a Facebook group that their school (not in the US) is doing A/B classes with A students going to school one week then stay home while B students go to school then stay home. I guess while they are in school that one week they can be given packets to complete for the next week. Technology wouldn't really be necessary if it was an issue for some students.
     
  26. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    The latest I heard (although our Education Minister changes his mind as often as he changes his shirt) is that he wants the students divided into 2 cohorts, with each group being in the classroom 2 days one week and 3 days the next. This, of course, does nothing to address parental concerns about who is watching the children when they are not at school. He has also, apparently, asked for union and board reps to meet with the Ministry, which gives the impression that there are going to be attempts to make changes to our collective agreements.
     
  27. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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  28. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    The whole state has had increases in cases. I'm worried about some friends of mine who just moved there a year ago when they retired. The governor isn't taking anyone's health into consideration since he wanted to reopen everything and no mask mandates even if the superintendents are concerned. It has to start higher up.
     
  29. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    You are mostly correct on this one. I live in Arizona and your statement on the governor couldn't be more true on how he wanted to reopen everything. As far as masks go, the largest counties in Arizona do require masks. I know it is over 75% of the population of the state where masks are required. As far as schools go, many districts are requiring masks for students and teachers in the fall. Some are not. Yes, I agree more needs to be done with Arizona's cases, hospitalizations, and even death rates are all rising fast from the virus.
     
  30. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    That's good to know that they enforcing masks more than they previously did but when did the requirement go into effect? Ours has been since mid-april. My governor wants it to be a national mandate but they are dragging their heels over it so I doubt that would happen.
     
  31. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    [​IMG]
    Here is a post I made on Facebook, using this meme.
    "Teachers want to go back to teaching in-person as soon as they are safely able to do that. In Florida, right now, it is not safe for schools to re-open. And I have to say, as educators, our job is to educate children, not to "save our country's economy." Stop asking people who love and support your children to risk their lives because our government failed to quickly and decisively act, and continues to make poor decisions."
     
  32. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Wow, that is something that it went into effect in mid-April. For Arizona the governor didn't allow counties and cities to require masks until less than 3 weeks ago. It has made some difference. So few were wearing masks a month ago within a few miles of where I live. Today, I was amazed at how many were wearing masks even outside...over 80%...maybe even 90% in the few places I went this morning. Not sure if all areas are seeing that kind of improvement, but any positive signs right now are so welcome.
     
  33. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    If 100% of politicians went on TV, wore a mask each time on TV, and all urged all Americans to do the same, so many would wear them. Then the cases would go down and it would be safer to reopen. Then the economy really would be helped.
     
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  34. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I saw this on social media this morning too! It’s such a good point. We are not babysitters, nor nurses, and yet so many public policies right now are reducing us to that.

    Our school doesn’t even have a nurse. I think we might on paper, but it’s not anything I know about - we might have her show up once a year to do vision and hearing checks. Who’s going to be monitoring temperatures and dealing with sick kids? The school secretary, most likely.
     
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  35. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    This just showed-up on my news feed:

    MIAMI, FL — Florida reported its largest one-day spike of new coronavirus-related deaths Thursday amid a new surge of 8,935 more cases of the virus as a second 11-year-old child reportedly died from the illness in South Florida.

    WPLG-TV identified the child as Yansi Ayala of Fort Lauderdale, who reportedly died Wednesday at Broward Health Medical Center. Last week an 11-year-old boy became the youngest person in Florida to die from the illness in nearby Miami-Dade County.
     
  36. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    [​IMG]
     
  37. TeacherNY

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    What drives me nuts is people starting to "need" to go on vacation and going all over the place which increases the spread. Some lame brain in my state when to Florida and brought back Corona as a souvenir. Then, the lame brain went to a PARTY and infected 10 other people. I mean COME ON. Just stay put and keep your germs to yourself.
     
  38. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    That is because he is a moron. He has proven he resides in the back pocket of someone else. I loved the rant he went on about having solved this crisis and then when it all spiked after his brilliant moves had to backtrack. One size fits all in his world.
     
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  39. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Is this the same person who said that if you can go to Home Depot you can go to school?
     
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  40. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I"m not sure, but that sounds like him.

    Our local county had decided to do full-time with elementary (by spreading them out since they wouldn't be doing specials, and using the specials teachers and interventionists to teach smaller groups of studetns to make class sizes smaller) and hybrid for middle and high school -- which the announcement from the governor says they can't do anymore -- it must be 5 days per week for ALL students.

    I do think it is too late for them to get things figured out for middle and high school, at least, and I highly suspect many of the counties are simply going to refuse to do it on the basis that they can't get it done in time. I hope the counties stand by their guns! The virus is at an all-time high here, and it isn't safe right now.
     
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  41. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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