Instead of More Support, Schools Have Upped Demands on Teachers During Pandemic

1/9/2022 7:36:00 PM

Instead of More Support, Schools Have Upped Demands on Teachers During Pandemic

Instead of More Support, Schools Have Upped Demands on Teachers During Pandemic

Those in charge are driving educators to the breaking point by doubling down on more of what already wasn't working.

if the trend holds , that number will have risen to more than 200,000 by December 2021.The closures affected nine high schools, two middle schools and one elementary school.low-wage workers, who are disproportionately women and people of color.The partial data released Friday shows an incomplete picture, but offers an early glimpse into the effects of distance learning on students, something that has been heavily politicized and polarizing as the pandemic wears on.

Students have had to watch, and even care for, family members as they fall ill.Many older students stepped in as breadwinners for their families when parents were laid off or too sick to work.On Thursday, the district sent out an email to discourage teachers from participating in what it described as an “illegal” action.And even students who did not suffer these deprivations often felt isolated and lonely.As a country, we have grown less used to such conflicts.Students have struggled to adjust to the demands of in-person schooling and teachers have often struggled to support them., did not sanction or become involved in the sickout.The demands to catch-up and return to normal leave little room for the compassion, flexibility and social-emotional support that students so desperately need.State schools Superintendent Tony Thurmond said the data emphasizes what school districts said about "the challenges that students and educators faced during the pandemic" and that they were, "multi-dimensional and disruptive to learning and mental health.

Teachers, who are stretched to the breaking point themselves, risk developing compassion fatigue as students in need disrupt their classes or avoid engagement.Teachers also called for high-grade air filters in common spaces, such as gymnasiums and cafeterias; extra support for school nurses; and no budget cuts to student services.There are teachers and children who are immunocompromised, or who live with immunocompromised people, with similar misgivings.School districts have given lip service to the importance of social-emotional health, but there has been little of substance either in terms of material support or changed approaches.Federal funding has not led to an infusion of counselors and social workers.The teachers who organized the sickout are also asking the district to implement two weeks of remote instruction to put the safety measures in place, said Jordan Blumberg-Long, a social science teacher at Skyline High School in Oakland.In New York City, the school district rolled out an $18 million, 45-question social-emotional “screener” that teachers were asked to fill out.There are teachers who, if schools go remote, will somehow have to instruct their students and facilitate their children’s learning at the same time.The screener converted the answers to a single score that tracked whether students were “on target,” “advanced” or “in need.This is just an effort so that we can reduce transmission,” Blumberg-Long said.The new figures released Friday show that chronic absenteeism spiked and graduation rates dropped for students of color and disadvantaged students during the pandemic.

” Many teachers pointed out that they were given just a few minutes to fill out a questionnaire on students they barely knew while they had no way of getting support for students they already knew were in need.The pandemic revealed the many ways that schools can be repressive places.” The idea emerged among teachers without union involvement, Blumberg-Long said.I am the single parent of a seven-year-old and a four-year-old.A consistent problem with the approaches to social-emotional health is that they have rarely addressed the role that schools themselves play in contributing to students’ well-being.The assumption is that school is inherently a safer, better place for young people.At Skyline High, which has about 1,500 students, 100 of 110 teachers called in sick, she said.However, the pandemic revealed the many ways that schools can be repressive places, especially for students of color who find themselves on the receiving end of racial bias.If school shuts down, it ruins my life; if school were to go remote indefinitely, as it did in the spring of 2020, I would walk into the sea.

But rather than taking time to adjust expectations and shift school cultures, teachers are expected to impose the same disciplinary norms that alienate so many students.Monday evening, after teaching six classes, Blumberg-Long tested positive for the coronavirus.This puts teachers — especially teachers of color — in an impossible situation and makes it harder to develop the relationships that are even more vital right now.Micromanaged, Disrespected and in the Line of Fire Amid all these constraints and the extraordinary efforts being asked of them, teachers continue to find themselves micromanaged.“We have half our kids missing; we have half our teachers missing,” Blumberg-Long said.” But reality is not up to me.They are expected to turn in lengthy, often daily, lesson plans that are aligned to state standards for evaluation.Districts adopt new curricula that teachers are forced to learn and implement — and just as often then abandon them.and the district came to an agreement to offer extended coronavirus leave to teachers.

Extended hours are used for professional development sessions that teachers have little role in choosing and often find disconnected from the issues they are facing in their classrooms.A study by.“It is critical that Oakland Unified take additional steps by distributing better masks to all students and providing coronavirus testing sufficient to support full-time, in-person learning during an upsurge in cases,” the union said in a statement.

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