Teachers need to stop being so stubborn and learn how to adapt and be flexible so everyone can go back to school.
Teachers are more than willing to adapt and we do so constantly in our profession. Remember in March/April when we switched to remote learning literally overnight with no prior experience in this area? However, while most teachers are willing to adapt, in this situation the schools can’t afford to properly adapt and that is the problem. Unfortunately they do not have the ability or funds to hire more teachers, add more classrooms, and lower class sizes in order to properly distance the students, supply the necessary PPE, cleaning equipment, staffing, etc to make it safe.
Nobody asked my dentist, doctor, or grocery store if they wanted to reopen. All the essential businesses had to make changes and schools shouldn’t be any different!
It is scary how many people are unaware of this, but- schools are quite different from private businesses. The owners of these other businesses were able to choose when and how they wanted to reopen. They have the ability to limit how many people are in their business at a time, refuse entry to those without masks or who don’t follow the rules, and the funds to make the necessary adaptations to make things more safe (partitions, distancing workers, providing PPE, etc). What other businesses were FORCED to open in unsafe conditions? Are there any doctors offices or grocery stores where the boss expected workers to provide their own PPE? Do these private businesses have to beg patients’ or patrons’ families for their disinfecting supplies? Teachers have been saying this over and over, but I’ll repeat it louder for the people in the back- YOU CAN NOT COMPARE REOPENING PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO REOPENING PRIVATE BUSINESSES AND/OR HOSPITALS.
Daycares opened up and they didn’t have any problems, so schools can too.
While daycares and public schools have more in common than dentist offices and schools, there are still some very important differences to consider. SOME daycares have been able to open safely, because they are private businesses and have been able to limit the number of children allowed to attend in order to properly enforce the health and safety guidelines. If public schools could do the same, there would be no issues. Unfortunately, they do not have this ability or funds to meet the current guidelines.
Also, a quick Google Search is very informative about the outbreaks that have been caused by some daycares reopening.
Kid’s need to socialize! And be in school! And play! And make friends! And learn social skills!
Again- YES THEY DO! But we are having to make some tough decisions here and keeping students and teachers healthy and safe unfortunately outweighs missing out on some very important in-person socialization for the time being. Also, please consider what schools will look like and how much socialization, playtime, and learning will be going on if they do open. If you are unable to imagine it, please read The First Day of School: Will they like my mask?
Teachers just want to complain, but I don’t see any solutions being offered!
Well you know how us teachers are. Just always complaining and gossiping and relaxing in teacher’s lounges with all of our spare time. (Please note, I have NEVER actually worked in a school building that even *had* a teacher’s lounge and I usually use my three minutes of “spare time” a day to try to get a chance to use the bathroom.) Anyway here is my personal suggestion for a solution: schools who can not afford to open safely should continue with remote learning until we know more about how we can open safely, create a vaccine, or the virus becomes less of a threat.
It could take years to get everyone vaccinated! There are always going to be germs! We can’t keep schools closed FOREVER! GO BACK NOW!
Correct- we can’t keep schools closed forever, but that doesn’t mean we have to return to in-person learning right now in an unsafe environment. Maybe we’ll have a vaccine in early 2021 and can reopen, or maybe we won’t- that is unknown and we should start working on solutions while we’re waiting. Which leads me to my main point in all of this: Most schools don’t have the necessary supplies, guidance, or plans to reopen safely at this time, so we need to start with remote learning WHILE WE FIGURE IT OUT. And let’s make that decision to start with remote learning NOW, so we can start FIGURING IT OUT instead of wasting our time debating how many children and teacher’s lives we are willing to risk to rush back to in-person learning.
The bare minimum safety guidelines need to be required for schools before we can return, including:
- mandatory face coverings
- social distancing of at least 3 feet
- increased intense cleaning/disinfecting of school buildings
- ability to provide proper PPE to staff and students
- ability to acquire proper cleaning/disinfecting supplies for school buildings
- quarantine rooms for students with symptoms
- increased nurse/aide staffing for quarantine rooms
- well-laid out school plans to adjust learning if outbreaks occur
- guidance to know exactly what to do and who to quarantine and how learning will continue when students/staff test positive
Let’s decide to open with remote learning while schools have the time to consider all options and figure out how to follow these safety guidelines. Let’s decide NOW, so we don’t waste any more time. Let’s decide NOW so teachers can start planning how to make remote learning an even better experience this time around. We did our very best last spring, but we know there were some kinks. Give us (the teachers) time and permission to figure out: how we will assess students remotely, reach all families, provide necessary technology, provide resources to families in need, etc.
Yeah, yeah. Yadda, yadda, health and safety. But I’m a parent and I have to WORK. If I have to stay home with them, I’m going to LOSE MY JOB.
As a parent myself who has struggled with working from home while also facilitating my own children’s remote learning, I really do understand that EVERYONE is in a very tough situation. I also understand that I am very blessed to be able to work from home and that other parents are in a much worse situation than I am with having to try to arrange for childcare while they return to their essential jobs in person. I think everyone would agree- pandemics really suck and are very inconvenient for all involved! However parents all over the country made it work last spring. Yes, it was hard. Yes, it was a struggle. People had to sacrifice. But unfortunately I think all of this might come with the territory when it comes to worldwide epidemics. I also recognize that the solutions that many people found are probably not feasible long term for many families, but as I have already pointed out- no one is suggesting that we continue remote learning forever- or even for just a couple years. I have faith that we can get through this, if we all continue to adapt TOGETHER.
Yeah, but MY JOB.
Please consider- when the teachers and children are all quarantined, hospitalized, or worse because we returned without following the health and safety guidelines, people will also be losing their jobs and unfortunately that may be the least of their worries.
Yeah, easy for you to say, Teacher. You still get that big fat paycheck no matter what. Just like you did when you stayed home and did nothing last Spring.
I continue to receive my salary as long as I continue to do my job. I received my normal paycheck in the Spring when we worked overtime to come up with a plan for how to roll out remote learning to the best of our ability. I received my normal paycheck when I worked throughout the day and night during remote learning answering parents emails, providing support to students, making phone calls and video calls, planning lessons, videotaping my lessons, checking in on families, etc. FOR. THE. LAST. TIME. REMOTE LEARNING IS NOT A BREAK FOR TEACHERS AND IT IS NOT FUN!!! Also- trust me, no public school is paying any teachers one single cent they didn’t earn.
If you don’t want to teach, why don’t you just resign?!
Good suggestion, but I do want to teach- in the way that is currently safest for students AND teachers. I also want to be ALIVE to teach for many more years. I chose this career to make a difference in children’s lives and that’s pretty important to me. Almost as important as doing everything in my power to keep them safe and help them get the best education possible.
UGH calm down, people. Can’t people who want to go back to the classrooms, just go back, and those that want to stay home, just stay home?
Well in most districts, teachers are not currently in charge of making their own decisions about how they will be returning to teach (in person or online). If it was up to me (and probably many other educators), all the kids who are able to have a good at home learning experience would do the remote learning and the ones who need to be at school would come in person, but who would determine this? And would the numbers would work out perfectly that just enough kids can stay home that the amount of kids in person in the classroom would be just enough to be distanced in a safe environment? And can a single teacher provide a wonderful online learning experience and an in person learning experience for all students at the same time? Unfortunately this isn’t realistic and schools can not pick and choose which students get to come in person and which ones don’t.
I’m an essential worker and I had to go back to work and be around people who cough and don’t wear masks and so you should too. Why do teachers think they are so special and should be treated any differently?
Are you insinuating we should needlessly expose children and teachers to these unsafe conditions and prolong/cause more outbreaks, because other essential workers have had to be exposed to people who don’t follow the guidelines? And actually teachers do not think we should be treated differently (despite us being such a group of people known for being demanding, selfish, and clearly in this job for all its’ perks and pay raises). What we are saying is that it would be nice to be treated THE SAME as all of the other businesses that have reopened safely and been able to limit numbers of patrons, limit prolonged exposer to others, socially distance, and be provided with the necessary PPE and other disinfecting supplies.
But I work at a grocery store and I didn’t get sick. And I’m around more people than a teacher would be.
The issue is that you are far less likely to catch COVID from the 25+ people who are passing you by at a distance at your workplace than a teacher would be to catch COVID from one of the 25-30 children he/she is with at school for 8 hours 5 days a week.
So kids can go to Target and birthday parties and water parks and they can’t go to school???
Well (again) you don’t take your children to any of these places in groups of 30 for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. When your children go to these private businesses they should be wearing a mask, distancing, and following the safety guidelines of the business. They are with an adult who can manage their safety better than a teacher could attempt to in a classroom with a teacher:student ratio of 1:30. Oh and most importantly- children should NOT be going to ANY of these places unnecessarily at this time. If people would follow the guidelines, we wouldn’t be currently experiencing the large number of outbreaks and public health emergencies and reopening the schools would not be as much of a risk at this point.
Come on, people. This is just a flu. The death rate is like SO LOW for children. No point living your life in fear. Get back to work. America needs to GET BACK TO LIVING.
There are varying statistics on how low the death rate really is for adults and children. But regardless I AM SO TIRED of the argument that coronavirus doesn’t kill “very many” people. The selfish people who are still spouting this nonsense will never care about that “small percentage” unless it directly affects them or their immediate family. Even if the virus “ONLY” kills .02% of the 60 million students who are in America’s public school system, THAT IS 12,000 CHILDREN. How many children’s lives is it acceptable to risk? And is it okay with you if your child is one of them? And I hate to beat a dead horse, BUT COVID-19 IS NOT “A FLU”. There is also the potential of serious unknown future complications for adults and children who contract this virus.
Let’s shut down ALL SCHOOLS and stop paying teachers! And no school taxes! Those who have kids, stay home and take care of them.
Well thought out plan. I see no issues.
Adults and children will get sick and some will die from this virus whether or not we reopen the schools, so we might as well open up!
Yes, adults and children will still get sick and some will unfortunately die even if schools do not physically reopen, but it is certain that MORE adults and children will get sick and die if schools are forced to open in unsafe conditions. The bottom line is: Teachers and students should not be exposed unnecessarily to this virus that can and WILL BE deadly for some of us.
And last but certainly not least- Let’s defund the teachers and schools!
Ok, but can we please keep our Box Tops?