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Teachers: We won’t go to school

Teachers say they won’t return to classrooms in Fairfax County, Virginia, reports Hannah Natanson in the Washington Post.

Three major teachers’ associations in a joint statement charged the district’s “plans for face-to-face teaching imperil teachers’ health and that officials failed to provide sufficient time for families and staff members to make their decisions,” she writes.

Fairfax’s hybrid learning program will let families in the 189,000-Student district choose between full-time remote learning or part-time in-person schooling.

In the first enrollment option, Fairfax County students would receive “virtual, interactive instruction” four days each week, without ever setting foot on campus; in the second, students would attend bricks-and-mortar schools for face-to-face learning at least two days a week. . . .  Fairfax families and teachers must choose an option by July 10.

Apparently, teachers worry they’ll be forced to teach in person if not enough parents sign up for the all-virtual option.

Teachers “fear for their lives, the lives of their students and the lives of their families,” said Tina Williams, president of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers.

No teacher should return to the classroom until there’s a widely available vaccine or treatment, said Kimberly Adams, president of the Fairfax Education Association.

Several comments call for giving up on teaching until there’s a vaccine, which could take years — or forever.

Here’s one by a teacher:

I just can’t see a way for teachers to stay safe.  Teaching is not standing in front of an auditorium of students. It is constantly circulating, checking in, crouching down next to students to answer questions or give them prompts.

. . . Online works for very few students, and very few teachers.  Teachers didn’t choose the profession to teach remotely.  It’s not our skill set, it’s not what we were trained to do, most teachers had zero experience, students had zero experience, the platforms were cumbersome and difficult to work with.

We need to put it on hold, provide fun enrichment opportunities remotely, and hope for a vaccine soon.

Another teacher agrees:

There is NO plan imaginable that can re-open schools where both health and meaningful instruction for all will work. There is no solution; the problem for schools is intractable – until a 100% effective vaccine is mandated for school children and staff.

“Virtual school does not work except for a minority of children who have parents with the time and ability to be teachers at home,” writes another commenter. “Just cancel classes, furlough the entire system, and start it up when safe.”

No academic teaching till there’s a reliable, available vaccine means no teaching for a long time. When Fairfax Public Schools teachers are ready to go back to work, the students will be gone to homeschool co-ops, micro-schools, online schools — or ignorance.

This post first appeared on Joanne Jacobs — Thinking And Linking By Joanne Jacobs, please read the originial post: here

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Teachers: We won’t go to school


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