Remember when Trump, attempting to console a grieving widow, commented, “He knew what he signed up for”? Of course he later denied it and blamed Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) for fabricating the remark.
Now, Trump is urging schools to reopen to get the economy moving again (and bolstering his re-election chances). He claims children are immune to coronavirus, so getting them back to school would be a good thing for America. He is ignoring the fact that teachers can be susceptible to the disease or suggesting older teachers stay home, also ignoring that covid-19 cases among younger Americans is rising.
As a life-long educator, anxious about being back in the classroom again, I can add this to the list of things I did NOT sign up for. (Or, to put it in grammatically correct terms, for which I didn’t sign up).
In my 30-plus years in the classroom, I have endured many trends; Whole Language, invented spelling, backwards design and so many other gimmicks.
I’ve also been required to take workshops in Drug Abuse Awareness, Blood Borne Diseases (in response to the AIDS epidemic), Cyber Security, Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, and most recently, in response to the spate of school shootings, Active Shooter Response training.
I never “signed-up” for any of these things.
Nor did I “sign-up” for the ludicrous idea of arming teachers.
Now, teachers are being asked, if not ordered, to return to the classroom to allow working parents to return to work. Mind you, this is dangerous as well as insulting.
Over the years I’ve endured many illnesses that have passed through my various buildings, but, after working hard to attain my position, to be relegated to being thought of as merely a child-care custodian is a real slap in the face!
While I’m eager to get back to the classroom; especially with the college students who are so appreciative, it’s difficult to think what that might cause me to bring home.
While many parents are gaining a newfound respect for teachers, as they must home school their children, I’m sure this will quickly evaporate once the needs of their jobs take precedence.
And while many teachers have adapted to distance learning, it cannot replace individual attention. They, too, are eager to get back to the classroom and feel the sense of accomplishment when ideas are shared and new insights are realized.
At issue here is the fear of a second wave of illnesses just as classes start re-opening in the fall.
Many consider teachers as simply providing a form of day care. They are coming to the realization that it requires effort, determination and compassion, along with sacrificing nights and weekends for planning, correcting papers, attending school events and sleepless nights worrying about a myriad of issues.
Moreover, they ignore the money that many teachers spend, usually in the hundreds of dollars, to buy paper, pencils, pens and other necessities that are required for students to succeed, but which many parents fail to provide.
We accept these sacrifices. We know it comes with the territory.
Putting our lives at risk to let businesses reopen? This is NOT what we signed up for.