What makes this country unique and beautiful? It is the right to think and speak freely because of our First Amendment. It is with that right and knowledge I find myself at odds with a letter written by JoAnn Hadwin.
As a taxpayer and educator, I was saddened by her comments when this country is in unprecedented times with the wake of COVID-19. Things as simple as eating in restaurants, hanging out with friends, traveling and hugging are now problematic because of guidelines for the safety and well-being of people. Most importantly, education has been impacted severely, requiring our students, parents, educators and community to come together and make this transition a success.
Is remote learning what teachers want? ABSOLUTELY NOT! We would like nothing more than to see our students, spend time together and teach them and watch them grow and succeed in the classroom.
Teaching in the 21st century presents challenges for educators when preparing engaging lessons, addressing student diversity, and balancing life. Many believe teachers work Monday-Friday from 8 to 4. The reality is, many of us find ourselves arriving to work at 7 a.m. and leaving around 5 p.m. and still taking work home. We also find ourselves working additional hours on the weekends to prepare for the following week. Educators are working a minimum of 10 hours a day without even second guessing why they went into the profession of teaching.
This pandemic has brought frustration, continuous training and countless hours of planning from our end. We went from a district lacking in technology to implementing it overnight. Many hours have gone into lessons to provide rigor, engagement and various delivery approaches virtually so ALL students LEARN. Mrs. Hadwin, we are not doing a half job as you claim; we are doing much more than the standard and learning everyday on how to make it better. We teach all day and provide students with intervention and enrichment at the end of the day. At 3:30 p.m., we can plan and adjust our lessons, determine enrichment or intervention activities based on performance, and assist those who were unable to attend virtually that day. In addition, many of us find ourselves dedicating two additional hours that evening. Why? Because we love our students and aspire to provide them with the best education regardless of the current circumstances. Surrounding schools have new buildings and technology to assist their students with the very best; however, our students will attend school in an outdated building with limited technology. Teaching is not just books and paper anymore. Teaching is providing students with various learning methods, engagement and lots of love. Instead of shaming educators, we should be loving them! Thank you BISD, parents, students and community for coming together during a time when we need the most understanding, patience and love. As the author wrote in Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Let us make the best of one of the worst times in America!