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Thread: Any other teachers?

  1. #11
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    How is your private school coming up with its policy? I know in Chicago, the Catholic schools have been open all year. I don't know what their rate of infection has been vs the public schools there.

    Here in Maine, its a county by county thing, and the schools follows what is going on with the infection rate, and will close if things get up to a certain rate---that is what is happening at my parents' nursing home. So now there is only compassionate care visits allowed, and there is a strict protocol, only 20 minutes, one visitor a day, one visitor at a time. The compassionate care part is if they deem a person is dying or in serious, serious crisis. In the summer, people could visit outdoors, but the county rate skyrocketed in November. Now only compassionate care patients can have visitors. No one else.

    On the other hand, they all got vaccinated in January, but they are still on the shutdown mode.

    Maybe whoever is making this policy plans to wait until everyone is vaccinated to go full classroom mode? I am assuming you are not administrator, but I could be wrong about that? Who is making the policy that you must follow, since you are a private school?

  2. #12
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    I am not admin. The on site administrative staff makes day to day small scale decisions - which is how I got an exception to bring in a few kids from one group this week. We have a non-coercive, consensus driven philosophy. What that means in practice is that the administrators survey parents, teachers, and students and look at the numbers in the community, then they make a presentation and recommendations to our board. The board is made up of general members and at least one parent and one teacher. I don’t know who those people are. The board makes the final decision. Last time they called a special session on the weekend and cancelled in person classes with an email that went out at 11:00 at night. Virtual is always an option for students, and we will not force teachers to return to their classrooms.

    We have classroom aides to facilitate in person instruction for those students who are in the classroom while their teacher is teaching on a large screen. One problem we have right now is that we don’t have enough aides to cover all the teachers who won’t come back and the aides are expensive - we still pay the teachers.

    So, if I want my 1:00 class, they can drive in during lunch, but I have to figure out where they are going to go at 2:15 and who is going to supervise them. (Which is what I did for the kids I brought in - they took class basically in the lobby where the receptionist could see them with noise cancelling headphones.)

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    I am not admin. The on site administrative staff makes day to day small scale decisions - which is how I got an exception to bring in a few kids from one group this week. We have a non-coercive, consensus driven philosophy. What that means in practice is that the administrators survey parents, teachers, and students and look at the numbers in the community, then they make a presentation and recommendations to our board. The board is made up of general members and at least one parent and one teacher. I donít know who those people are. The board makes the final decision. Last time they called a special session on the weekend and cancelled in person classes with an email that went out at 11:00 at night. Virtual is always an option for students, and we will not force teachers to return to their classrooms.

    We have classroom aides to facilitate in person instruction for those students who are in the classroom while their teacher is teaching on a large screen. One problem we have right now is that we donít have enough aides to cover all the teachers who wonít come back and the aides are expensive - we still pay the teachers.

    So, if I want my 1:00 class, they can drive in during lunch, but I have to figure out where they are going to go at 2:15 and who is going to supervise them. (Which is what I did for the kids I brought in - they took class basically in the lobby where the receptionist could see them with noise cancelling headphones.)
    Wow, that does sound like an incredibly difficult environment in which to plan and teach. I mean it also sounds democratic and flexible, so I am not knocking it, but it must be very hard to get anything done, and to cope with that kind of last minute change, and still try to actually teach and engage the students, who are obviously not thriving with the schedule and set up that is happening now.

    What do your fellow teachers think? Do you guys all get together and talk about what you want to do?

    At first glance, it would seem like better, more transparent communication with the board might help the teachers?

  4. #14
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    The board is deliberately insulated from parents and teachers to avoid lobbying and favoritism. (If the admin says “15 teachers won’t come back” we don’t want the board asking “which ones?” We have annual contracts and at will employment.) They also make scholarship decisions on data stripped of names, addresses, and specific ages. We had a dark stretch in our history where a couple of families with money were effectively making a lot of decisions.

    I barely see, let alone speak to my fellow teachers. We have core departments, but also crossover teachers - of which I am one. In normal years I would meet regularly with teachers for every age group and every department but math. I am friends with two math teachers. This year - I speak with one math teacher, two humanities, and one elementary. Briefly, rarely. I have requested that admin set up virtual staff sessions - crickets. Covid caused so much disruption in my core department that we are now three new teachers - one of whom I know on sight, one I have spoken to twice but wouldn’t recognize out of context, and one who I think I have actually never seen, three old teachers who have been fully virtual all year, and me. The way planning for my department is being done for next year is pissing me off, but on the list of things I want fixed - that is a distraction.

    also, I used to have casual conversations with parents, and now I have emails. Which my administration has access to “for student and teacher protection.”

  5. #15
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    Tuesday!

    4 pages of new processes and procedures, including schedule changes, but I get them back Tuesday!

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    Tuesday!

    4 pages of new processes and procedures, including schedule changes, but I get them back Tuesday!

    Great news!

  7. #17
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    So, I just finished my first week with all my kids (allowed) back in class. It was really nice. I do have a few who opted to continue virtual learning, but not too many. Zero today! It was so nice not to teach with a headset on. It makes me feel like surveillance.

    as I posted elsewhere - our staff (including yours truly) gets vaccinated next Friday. I feel like we are over the worst.

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