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"We'll make it work"
Old 06-17-2020, 06:21 PM
 
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I'm tired of hearing this. I'm tired of hearing all of these nonsensical solutions to return to school, but when I question anything the answer is "we'll make it work". Yes, we will, but I want help figuring out how!


How will I teach phonics if I have to wear a mask?
How can I conduct a small group if everyone is behind plexiglass?
How can I teach whole group if the kids are spread out all over the room?
How do we line up if they have to be 6 ft apart? How do they even walk in a line like that?
How do I teach my math curriculum that is 100% interactive and games?
How, how, how?



For every "solution" to keep everyone safe, there are 10 questions on how in the world it will actually work. I know we are all in the same boat, but I'm being treated like I'm the negative, contrary one for asking the questions.


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Old 06-17-2020, 06:40 PM
 
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It won't work. It simply, logistically can't.

It will be impossible and dare I say counterproductive to try to social distance in schools as we know them.
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Old 06-17-2020, 06:56 PM
 
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We were just instructed to remove extra furniture from our classrooms so we can have room to social distance student desks.

Every piece of furniture in my room serves a purpose. I have a portable classroom with 25 students on my roster for next year. I do not think I can fit them six feet apart even if the room was empty except for student desks.

There is no way we can have safety drills such as a lockdown drill. Cramming kids under the white board will be a No No.

No classroom library book sharing. That would be a great way to spread germs.

Sure...we can make it work.
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Old 06-17-2020, 07:07 PM
 
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I hear you. My thought is if no one can come up with a very specific plan for how these things will happen, then they won't happen. If there was a way to "make it work" then we'd be hearing about it. My gut feeling is that just want to say they're taking these precautions to make people feel better but in practice they just won't happen, because they're impossible.

My P LOVES to make specific plans and thinks routine and structure are highly important. We have planned out the most mundane things in our school. She will kill herself trying to make plans for whatever the restrictions are, but I just don't see how many of them will work. When I think about other Ps I've worked for, they would be more likely to just say "make it work" and refuse to discuss it/put it all on teachers. Then teachers themselves would be stuck with basically just deciding not to do many of the restrictions because they're impossible. And admin can say, "That's not my fault, I told them they had to follow all of the guidelines." The nutjob I worked for at my previous school would say, "If you were creative professionals you would know how to make this work. I'm not just going to give you all of the answers."
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Old 06-17-2020, 07:08 PM
 
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I am happily retired. May 29th was my last day. I taught kindergarten and one of the most corrected behavior was: Keep your hands to your self.
Even with that "rule" - kids would constantly reach and grab, pull, punch, lay on others. Even moving a child to a spot farther away from the friend or friends that the individual had the most trouble keeping his/her hands to his/herself with, he/she still managed to break the boundaries and "touch" each other.
Back in April when co-workers were talking about keeping students apart - 6 feet apart in the classroom, it was mentioned in the group of teachers of putting masking tape squares that each student would be assigned to stay in.
I smiled and pictured my own mom putting tape down half my sister's and my bedroom when I was little. When my sister was looking, I would put my foot over the tape line, on her side, just to hear my sister scream. Do you think a group of kindergartners won't do the same?
They hug, lick each other, spit when they talk (especially when they are excited, which they are all the time), kiss each others arms and faces. They are busy bodies always touching and moving around. They do not have boundaries. They are 5 year olds!!
Again, I am happily retired.


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Old 06-17-2020, 08:02 PM
 
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I'm sick of "making it work" in education as it is!
"Making it work" is why they higher ups can get away with piling on more and more while providing less and less.
"Making it work" is part of why so many teachers (including myself) struggle with mental health problems.
"Making it work" is why so many teachers burn out.
"Making it work" is why so many teacher leave!
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:15 PM
 
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Yes, just make it work seems to be what administrators tell teachers these days. I'm happy I'm retired so I don't have to deal with this. My thoughts are if school is going to be in person, then other than maybe alternating days with half the class and emphasizing hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes, there is not much that can be done to keep kids from interacting. I don't know if masks are feasible or not. Primary grades would be very difficult to teach. Older kids can understand a little better to keep some distance. But no matter what, in person school is going to be a risk.
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Rope with knots
Old 06-17-2020, 09:04 PM
 
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How do we line up if they have to be 6 ft apart? How do they even walk in a line like that?
I realize this is the vent board, and maybe not the place for answering (what may be) rhetorical questions, but I thought I'd mention this one. My friend said, just in passing, that she's thinking of getting a long rope and tying a knot every six feet that her students will hold onto as they walk in a line. The problem with this is going to be sanitizing the rope after each use.

It's really sad how this virus has turned everything so topsy turvy for students, especially the young ones who need all that social interaction that teachers are being asked to curtail. I'm hopeful that this won't be it for the entire school year. If a vaccine is finally determined to be safe and effective within the school year, all of these modifications/restrictions, hopefully, will be lessened.
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Old 06-17-2020, 11:03 PM
 
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My gut feeling is that just want to say they're taking these precautions to make people feel better but in practice they just won't happen, because they're impossible.
Exactly.


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My friend said, just in passing, that she's thinking of getting a long rope and tying a knot every six feet that her students will hold onto as they walk in a line.
I've thought of this, but the rope would be 120 feet long. Nope!
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Old 06-18-2020, 03:42 AM
 
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When I saw the "we'll make it work" comment, it reminded me of a staff meeting from the early 90s when I was a regular teacher. Our district had hired a new superintendent, a well-meaning man, but someone who had never been a teacher. He decided there should be higher grade point averages across the district. Our principal passed the message along to us, and naturally, there were questions. One teacher asked if we should just raise the grades that we were giving, but the principal said "no." No specifics were given, but the message was that we should work harder and grades would naturally rise.

Now that I'm in my 60s, retired, and subbing, I'm not sure I'll return. Mugs, you're so
right--students have a very hard time keeping their hands to themselves. Some of you mentioned lines, and that's another big one.

Arsabl, I hadn't thought about safety drills, but that's an excellent point. In a small classroom, how is it possible to do a lockdown drill while maintaining social distancing? What about tornado drills in hallways? I can imagine trying to have a fire drill.


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Old 06-18-2020, 04:25 AM
 
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I know in my district, this coming year the students will stay in their homeroom all day, even for lunch. There's talk of we will get paid for staying with them and no lunch of our own. No idea how fire drills and such will work. We've also been told we can't refuse students for not wearing masks and masks are not being supplied to anyone (students or staff).
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Old 06-18-2020, 05:41 AM
 
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Make it work is a flat out lie and is code for " I don't care about teachers or students. I care about the financial bottom line because every body in a seat is a pile of money. Parents are whining about day care and teachers must provide it. If you get sick you are easily replaced."
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tired of it
Old 06-18-2020, 05:55 AM
 
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"Make it work"
"Be flexible"
"Be creative"
"Put the students first"

These are all the things we hear when they don't know how to do something and are going to make the teachers figure it out or just deal with a large workload. It's what we hear when our schools have been underfunded for decades yet still required to ameliorate society's issues like the digital gap, effects of poverty, high cost of child care, hungry students, etc. I'm so tired of these phrases
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I agree with Haley as well
Old 06-18-2020, 06:38 AM
 
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Her gut feeling is mine as well.
Quote:
My gut feeling is that just want to say they're taking these precautions to make people feel better but in practice they just won't happen, because they're impossible.
In MO, the authorities offered the recommendations/suggestions with the caveat that local districts have the authority to implement what works best in their area.

As I am in a rural area with very few active cases, I feel we will return pretty much as usual. We will have some things "in print" as precautions, some things offered to parents and communities as reassurances, some placebo style modifications for photo ops...But...

Once the doors close, it will be business as usual overall. And, truthfully, as long as the cases don't rise, I am okay with that. If/When the local cases rise, we will have to fall in line.

My fear is that we are in one of those limbo areas where we do not have many tests because we do not have many cases??? How will we adequately track that potential rise in cases??
People here do not go to the Doctor much. My SpEd kids come to school no matter what... Parents here are guilty of medicating in the am to get the kid to school so they can choose when to pick the kid up. Our school really pushes good attendance. We autocall EVERY parent for every absence. It makes the parents think that even excused absences will be punished.
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I have no idea...
Old 06-18-2020, 06:41 AM
 
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how I will social distance 22 4th graders...we donít have desks. I have 5 long tables that sit 4 with 4 cubbies. We usually have to add a student at either end when I have more than 20 students. It is very crowded.

If they tell me to make it work I might loose it!
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Agree!!
Old 06-18-2020, 07:14 AM
 
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How do we teach kindergarten this way?!! Impossible!!
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Old 06-18-2020, 08:07 AM
 
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I ran into a teacher I know yesterday, she doesn't know how this is going to happen when they have been told by the Health Department that it looks like they will be able to have 12 students max in a classroom. In my district there seems to be a good number of parents that are in favor of continuing distance learning. They may allow those students to continue which will decrease the number in the classroom and dedicate teachers to just distance learning. Every solution just seems to unearth more questions.
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Old 06-18-2020, 08:11 AM
 
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I am departmentalized and have 32 students in each of my classes. 6 ft. distancing would be impossible. I'd have to rotate around 3 times if I only had 12 kids in class at a time!
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A new normal...
Old 06-18-2020, 09:47 AM
 
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I am happily and thankfully retired for 2 years now. I am lucky that I did not have to endure any of these changes brought on by the virus.

My district has invested a lot of money in coaching for writing and math workshops. These involve conferencing with students, students conferencing with each other, and lots of hands-on, small group lessons. They paid a lot of money for a team of consultants who led the charge. Now, I understand the coaches are being returned to the classrooms. Not sure what they are doing about the consultants, but I'm sure they could use that money elsewhere.

Furniture will be a big issue. I was one of the last of the teachers to use desks. I liked to group them in clusters, and never was a fan of tables and the additional furniture they would bring in, adding cubbies and mailboxes. With tables, came caddies with shared supplies. Even in my classroom, I had huge tubs of materials that we shared and a vast classroom library. No way to constantly sanitize all that. Some of my friends have couches and chairs in their classrooms. I can't see room for that now, and you wouldn't want different students continuously sitting on them anyway.

How will be food be served? Some students get free or reduced price lunches from the cafeteria. How will students who forget their lunches be accommodated? How will recess take place? Will special classes like music and art come to the students on a cart instead of the students going there?

What will the procedures be for arrival at school? Previously, in inclement weather, students lined up outside the classrooms against the wall. There is no room for social distancing there.

Right now, technology is on carts, shared across grade levels. We are not 1-1 devices at the primary level. How will those be signed out and sanitized?

I also see a need for more nursing staff. We have one nurse who works from the opening of school to lunchtime, and then another nurse who is there from lunchtime till dismissal.

What about Aftercare? Currently, we do have a before care and after care program for working parents at out school.

I do not see everything here being possible. The cost, the time to fix and adapt everything and the developmental issues, particularly with younger or disabled students will be issues, as well. I wish everyone the best, because it will not be easy.
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Old 06-18-2020, 01:08 PM
 
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I agree. I'm also tired of seeing the articles that say we'll figure it out because kids don't show signs of the virus. NEVER are teachers/staff mentioned in how to keep them safe though.
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Old 06-18-2020, 01:24 PM
 
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I am seeing all these "recommendations" on how to keep students safe. Seriously, we have to start thinking about staff too! Bus drivers, teachers, cooks, secretaries, principals, aides.....we have a lot of adults who work in school buildings. No one can answer how we will be keeping our adults safe. I also can't see substitute teachers wanting to work in our buildings after a staff member or students come down with COVID. This whole situation is just making me crazy....on so many levels. If we don't have the answers or a plan in place now, how on earth is school going to start in August?
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Old 06-18-2020, 01:29 PM
 
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A lot of y'all are coming at this from an elementary perspective, which presents its' own set of challenges. I teach middle school now and it throws a whole wrench in the works. I had over 30 kids in some of my classes. All I had in my room were student desks and a desk that held my computer that connected ot the smartboard. To socially distance, I could possibly get 5 or 6 kids in at a time.
Staying with one teacher all day? Lunch obviously would be the same issue as elementary but obviously there are others. Many of our sixth grade teachers are certified to teach all subjects (I mean, all core academic subjects but not things like music or PE and the like) but not everyone is and our 7th and 8th grade teachers aren't. Nor do I really want to teach all of the subjects lol. How would this work? Would I keep six kids all day and teach them everything but only see them once a week? No changing classes? Or change classes but kids coming in on alternate days/times? How to handle passing in the hallways?
What about the SpEd and ESOL kids who really need the extra support?
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Old 06-18-2020, 01:33 PM
 
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We don't have to socially distance the children - they can be as crowded as they always were (my room isn't particular crowded, but they aren't six feet apart either), because children don't spread the virus (according to the Australian government). However, teachers do have to socially distance. Lunch in our rooms, only out of our room on playground duty. We are cut off and isolated from our peers, and it is beginning to wear on us.
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Old 06-18-2020, 02:39 PM
 
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Could not agree more with all the previous posts.

A serious question: if parents can work every summer even though their kids are home, why do they need physical schools to reopen now during the pandemic?

I personally also think that opening schools has to do with money and parents needing childcare. Perhaps this year it is different since many parents either lost their jobs or were furloughed. But every other year, they still have to work during the summer months while school is closed. How do they manage it?
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Old 06-18-2020, 02:56 PM
 
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A serious question: if parents can work every summer even though their kids are home, why do they need physical schools to reopen now during the pandemic?

I personally also think that opening schools has to do with money and parents needing childcare. Perhaps this year it is different since many parents either lost their jobs or were furloughed. But every other year, they still have to work during the summer months while school is closed. How do they manage it?
Many parents rely on summer camps/day camps or even summer school in some cases for childcare. There was mass hysteria on my town's FB page when camps were closed because people had no idea what they were going to do with their kids.

Parents know in advance that they need to budget for day camp or whatever childcare they use for the summer. They have not budgeted for needing 9-10 extra months of some type of daycare, and I suspect even if parents can afford it, day cares don't have the capacity to accept that many extra school aged children. I'm not sure if this is a regional issue, but here daycare is so expensive that many teachers stay home until their children are school aged because earning a teacher salary is a wash with daycare costs. Even if parents have the money AND daycare is available, is it really any better to have children all together at daycare, exposed to new adults and new children, likely from various different schools? To me that sounds much less safe than just being at school.

On the one hand I completely agree with people who say the function of school is not day care and that we're there to provide an education. OTOH, the reality of our society is that parents do rely on school to be a sort of childcare during the work day. Our budget was decimated after 2 months of things being shut down- even with some gradual reopening about 6 weeks in. If we don't get people back to work and having a fully functioning economy, there won't be public schools to go back to.
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Old 06-18-2020, 03:15 PM
 
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We don't have to socially distance the children - they can be as crowded as they always were (my room isn't particular crowded, but they aren't six feet apart either), because children don't spread the virus (according to the Australian government). However, teachers do have to socially distance. Lunch in our rooms, only out of our room on playground duty. We are cut off and isolated from our peers, and it is beginning to wear on us.
Can you share with us how long you have been doing this and have any adults associated with school ( teachers, staff, bus drivers, etc) gotten sick? I assume you are also physically close to your students? Is anyone wearing masks?
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Covid safe?
Old 06-18-2020, 04:17 PM
 
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What about the first staff person to greet the child in the morning...the bus driver! Keep kids six feet apart on the bus? I read somewhere that they could then fit 11 kids on a bus. Ha! Where's the money for new buses? Plus we're already short on drivers. Where will they come up with enough capable bus drivers?
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Old 06-18-2020, 05:58 PM
 
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Every solution just seems to unearth more questions.
We were talking about this today. For every solution, there are 10 more problems...
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Old 06-18-2020, 07:06 PM
 
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Tonight I was talking to a friend whose friend's child just started back at daycare. They were notified tonight that a teacher tested positive and now all of the children have to quarantine.

So even if some of these logistics got worked out, someone WILL get this very contagious virus. Then what?
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:33 PM
 
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Can you share with us how long you have been doing this and have any adults associated with school ( teachers, staff, bus drivers, etc) gotten sick? I assume you are also physically close to your students? Is anyone wearing masks?
Schools here never completely closed. We were open with skeleton staff for children of essential workers only. We re-opened fully, business as usual, four weeks ago, but for the two weeks before that we were pretty much at full capacity. We are not allowed to wear masks at school, and it isn’t a big thing out in public either.

The situation with COVID in Australia is very different to the USA. My Remote town has had a total of three cases, all in March or early April, and all associated with the Ruby Princess. No spread and nothing since, so far. So, no spread in schools obviously.

However, in Sydney, there have been cases in schools. The schools are briefly closed and cleaned, then re-opened. That seems to be the plan going forward unless things get really bad.

Just a side note - bus drivers Here aren’t school employees. Students who travel by bus or train (in the city) travel on public transport with the general public.
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This!
Old 06-19-2020, 03:01 AM
 
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You have described what will happen in the fall perfectly.
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Old 06-19-2020, 03:43 AM
 
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We will be spending more time monitoring social distancing and hygiene procedures than teaching.

I give it one week and then a student or staff member will be tested positive and weíre back to remote.
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Old 06-19-2020, 04:45 AM
 
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Lockdown drills- yeah, that cannot happen. It will be every man for himself.
What about tornado drills? We are all crammed into one hall and one room. We may all end up in OZ.
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Old 06-19-2020, 06:01 AM
 
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Honestly, imo, the solution is simple. Stop coddling parents. Buses are unsafe at full capacity? You drive them to school. But ya can't, Blanche. Yaaaa can't. Insert excuses. No! Start adulting. The rest of you stop feeling bad. No one cares about us.
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Old 06-19-2020, 07:06 AM
 
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The superintendent of my district is concerned about how much it would cost to provide all of the extra transportation necessary to assure that kids will be properly social distanced on the busses to and from school. We most likely donít have the money it would take.

The district seems to be of the mind to start the school year on a hybrid model though the Illinois State Board of Education recommended that school start in person in the fall with exceptions.
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You can be sure
Old 06-19-2020, 11:55 AM
 
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that the school boards and legal beagles have been earning their pay nailing down policies so as when little snowflake comes down with any illness in Mrs. Jones' class of 28, the districts will be covered. This will not protect Mrs. Jones from harassment from parents.
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Sbkangas5- Looks like you hit a nerve.
Old 06-20-2020, 06:25 PM
 
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Based on the number of responses, a good chunk of the teaching community is very stressed and worried about the reopening of school.

So many have raised the same things that upset me about the usual dumping back all the problems on teachers.

middlestsis- I hate those phrases, too!

Quote:
"Make it work"
"Be flexible"
"Be creative"
"Put the students first"
These are also the types of phrases that are used to put dealing with budget problems back on teachers.
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"Professional "
Old 06-29-2020, 04:43 PM
 
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Yup. Any time they presume to define the word "professional " for you, you're getting talked down to, scolded, screwed, or some combination of those...
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