I love that I can tell the stories for teachers who can’t for whatever reason. It is empowering for them, just seeing their stories out there. For me, it’s empowering as well, knowing my blog is being used for good and not evil!
Anyway, I had a teacher from Twitter share her start of the year experience, which I’m guessing isn’t too much different from many of us. She’s from Iowa, so, like myself and Iowa educators, got the rug jerked out from under her by out governor.
In Iowa, we must have a 15% infection rate to ASK PERMISSION to go fully online. CDC and WHO infection rates are must lower. The online portion can only last two weeks and at least 50% of core classes must be done face to face. I won’t run down our great state, but our governor’s approval rating is the lowest in the country.
So as she approaches the beginning of the school year, she’s told her district will be going face to face. She asked about dress code and if that were relaxed. Many teacher have taken to social media in thanks to their district for taking the “dress code” and chucking it. Teacher can wear jeans, leggings, and my favorite: scrubs!
She was told in no uncertain terms that “we will dress professionally because that what is right.” Their district can wear jeans on Friday.
The dress doesn’t make the professional. This is my 26th year of teaching (I’m old), and I’ve seen over and over immature, rude people dress up every day and true professionals dress in a way that is comfortable. The dress doesn’t make the professional, that’s something that comes from the inside, not the clothing.
And finally, yesterday, they got an email reminding them of all the school expectations for teachers and the PD they were to do.
I floored that these things are even talked about. We should be thinking outside the box, not treating this as a just a regular year. Regular rules? Regular dress? Regular curriculum? They all should be rethought because this ISN’T a regular year. Can we go back if there is a vaccine? Of course. Should we? Depends on what we can do.
Her point, morale sucks. Again, not much different around the country. Teachers are feeling beat up, put upon, and demonized for feeling nervous about going back. And in our schools, we are told it’s pretty much normal. We are told to slap on the happy face because “your students need you.” And I agree, out students need us. Here’s my question, what about all the same stuff teachers have been going through: does that count? Parenting in a pandemic, teaching, trying to care for elderly parents, not seeing people, not doing anything, that’s all extracted a toil. And has one critical question been asked to teachers: How can I help? As districts come back online, administrators have to read the room and give in tiny ways. If you can do tbat, it makes us feel like we are all in this together.
I wish my friend and all my educator friends well. We are in crazy times where school boards meet remotely to tell us our students won’t wear masks, where science is mocked, and where being a bully is not a bad thing. But, trying to find that rose in the manure, we keep trying, innovating, and supporting the wine industry because what else is there?
August 18, 2020 at 11:02 pm
“Again, not much different around the country. Teachers are feeling beat up, put upon, and demonized for feeling nervous about going back. And in our schools, we are told it’s pretty much normal. We are told to slap on the happy face because “your students need you.” <–my aunt pretty much posted the same comment on local news station's facebook page in regards to teachers wanting to start remotely. Actually as she worded it: What makes teachers any more special. If they use the grocery store, go to the doctor, or need a hair cut they expect those people to be on the job. So they need to be at their job or let someone who is willing to teach take their place. It took every ounce of grace I had to NOT reply to her. Everything you wrote it's the same in WV. Our local BOE told parents (via FB) that if they had any questions about the online school option through the county to contact the schools. You know, those schools who have not been given any guidance from up top, and yet are expected to magically know the answers.
I'm exhausted and spent a good part of the morning crying. I, like every teacher in the US, am overwhelmed. I look at this year like an insurmountable task. We've been essentially told to "Keep Calm & Carry On." I've hit my breaking point with this. The question is: what do we do?
August 19, 2020 at 2:17 am
Here Government schools have not opened this year and they do not have internet facilities and children are going to suffer. Teachers too are finding online classes very difficult to handle. It is a terrible time. Take care, all of you.
August 19, 2020 at 8:12 am
Oh it’s going to be hard for everyone involved in education: teachers, parents, administrators, paraprofessionals, everyone. Thank you for your comment today and stay safe yourself! 🙂
August 19, 2020 at 1:02 pm
I read about US schools and my heart goes out for all the teachers for the challenges they face. It’s going to take a lot of resilience to live with the uncertainty. May you be healthy and find unexpected sources of joy!
August 19, 2020 at 1:12 pm
We saw a Ted Talk today about changing our lens for success. It set me back on my heels as it was just because, in many ways, it’s that easy. It’s about looking for little wins in the bigger battles.
August 22, 2020 at 7:44 pm
I finished my second week of teaching on Friday. I am lucky in that we are all remote right now, but the whispering is that we will be back in the classroom soon, well before first quarter is over. I am in Arizona where our numbers are starting to head in the right direction but they are no where near 30+ littles crammed in a classroom all day numbers.
August 24, 2020 at 12:24 pm
Yikes! 30 littles in a classroom? That’s crazy without Covid!! My wife’s school, the rumor is that they’ll be done, for a couple of weeks, by mid-September. My daughter in college, their rumor is pretty much the same (not much beyond Labor Day). For us, we’ll start on Wednesday. I’m not sure about this or anything anymore.