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Sunday, July 19, 2020

NYC Educator: The Safest and Best Education for our Students

NYC Educator: The Safest and Best Education for our Students

The Safest and Best Education for our Students

If you read my NY Post piece yesterday, you know I'm less than bullish on Mayor de Blasio's opening plan. In that piece, I give some suggestions on how we best approach September. Hong Kong's in its third wave of Covid, closing its Disney Park and movie theaters. Chancellor Carranza and Mayor de Blasio appear determined to set us on our second wave.

I've got an inbox full of messages from teachers freaking out over going back. I'd argue a rational fear for your life in a time of elevated danger is healthy, and something worth modeling for our students.

The whole risking your life in order to provide third-rate instruction is not going over well with teachers anywhere. And for those who cheerily say that young people aren't much at risk, the fact is they have not only teachers to consider, but also families. (Not only do we have them, but our students have them as well.) While advocates for opening buildings stick their heads in the sand, I'm going to expand on what I had in the Post.

The notion of seeing ten kids at a time while ignoring the rest is simply unworkable and ridiculous. I'll give it a mention later, but let's look at how we improve the online experience.

1. We need to show our faces. In April, I was pretty surprised to find all the students hiding behind photos of puppies and anime characters. Now don't get me wrong--I love puppies and I'm good with anime, but I'd rather see you. I had one student who never answered questions until someone texted her. Then she'd write, "I don't know," in the chat. She may as well not have been there. She got an NX, but should have failed. We need to make technology available to all, and we need to use it.

This is going to be exacerbated in September when we meet new students. I can't imagine spending an entire semester teaching pictures of kittens and rabbits. I want to see the kids. They see me, so I need to see them too. Of course it won't be as good as seeing students face to face, but it will be an improvement over not seeing them at all. I don't know whether this is regulated on a school level or a city level, but regardless it needs to be fixed.

2. We need real training and real resources. I went in the last three days the DOE mandated in March. I went to a bizarre meeting led by the principal. He didn't actually do anything bizarre, but it was the first time I'd been in a socially distanced CONTINUE READING: 
NYC Educator: The Safest and Best Education for our Students