Coronavirus Remote Education and Dancing
Day 154 Thursday August 26
What's On my Mind! STRIKE!
So the last thing I wanted to hear was that the UFT is considering a strike. That said if the Mayor and the Chancellor insist on forcing us to enter unsafe school buildings I really don't see that we have any choice. For those of you who may not understand all that is going on I am going to post it here.
We had a union meeting with the teachers at my school and our Union Rep. It was very sobering.
Here is what has been happening:
First: What Happened
The union has been pushing the mayor and DOE to discuss what would happen in the fall. Over 100 UFT members have passed away from Covid-19 since March because the mayor and chancellor did not prioritize our health and safety. This is completely unacceptable! For many months the UFT has been pushing for meetings with the DOE. The city didn’t seem to have the same sense of urgency. Discussions only began in July. UFT has made many suggestions. We are not seeing the movement that is necessary for a safe reopening. Last Wednesday, Michael Mulgrew held a press conference. He discussed 3 demands that MUST be put in place if schools are to reopen.
• SUPPLIES (PPE and ventilation)
• Detailed plan describing procedure relating to Covid issues.
• These protocols are not in place as of today.
• Training the Building Response Team(BRT) and having the
BRT communicate the Covid protocols to the members.
• RIGOROUS TRACING AND TESTING PLAN.
Second: The UFT’s Position
• We are ready and willing to re-enter school buildings in
September, but ONLY if they are safe.
• The UFT believes the city is NOT ready to open its doors to
its 100,000 + employees and 1 million + students.
• There are too many unanswered questions related to health
and safety protocols.
• CSA, The New York State Nurses Association, the NAACP
AND 31 members of the New York City Council all have
proposed a postponement of in person instruction this fall.
The UFT is prioritizing the health and safety of ALL of its members.
• There are still 359 schools without a nurse!
Third: My Opinion
I have an accommodation to teach remotely because of my age but that doesn't mean that I don't care about the situation and my fellow colleagues, children, and families, not only in my school but throughout the entire NYC school system.
And just for the record teaching remotely takes a lot more time for both planning and being live with my students. There were days when I was working 15 hours easily al the way to the end of June and a few days after.
Everyone needs to get behind the Union on this. We need 100% backing to make this work. We have the strongest Teacher's Union in the Country. All eyes are on us. We cannot fail at this juncture. We must show real leadership and the will to see it through.
If you are a NYC public school teacher you need to be in touch with your Union rep and get all the info you need to really understand what is at stake.
If you are a parent, do you really want to send your child into a school building that does not have all of the protocols in place. The Union is fighting for their and your safety, as well.
For the general public: Teachers do not want to get out of going to work. We want more than anything to be back in our buildings with our students and colleagues and we are willing to put up with masks, and distancing, and testing, and a hybrid model but if it is not safe, if we have to close down buildings every other week, if schedules keep changing because students keep opting to go remote, what is the point?
At the very least we should start school remote and delay the actual opening of the buildings until all the UFT demands are met for all schools not just a handful.
I have repeatedly posted here and sent e-mails to all of the officials from the Governor to my local Borough President of what I thought may be a plan of action for the fall. With the exception of students with disabilities and students who need services, everyone should be remote.