Home > Uncategorized > “But the schools have to stay open!”

“But the schools have to stay open!”

Joseph M. Adelman, author of Revolutionary Networks, posted this to Twitter on Jan. 5, 2022:

As a parent, as an educator, and as someone who teaches future educators, I am seething at the ways in which American society this week is telling teachers they don’t matter, shouldn’t use their voices, shouldn’t have an opinion.

There is a point where there aren’t enough healthy teachers available to be in classrooms with students, regardless of the ventilation, masking, vaccination status. None of that matters if adults are out sick. There is a point where there aren’t enough healthy kids in a classroom to make academic progress possible, creating a vexing dilemma for a teacher: do you keep going and double back? Stop and wait for everyone to return?

And just to be clear: switching to a remote format on zero days’ notice creates *more* work for teachers, not less. I had two weeks in Spring 2020 and college classes with lots of leeway and it was a Herculean task to figure out.

One (flawed) analogy that keeps coming to mind are the harshest winters we’ve had—in 2015 in MA, a few when I was growing up in NY. Constant snow days made Jan/Feb chaotic; it was difficult to learn when we didn’t know from one day to the next whether we’d have school. Which is to say that the question is not “do schools stay open or close?” The question right now is: “How do we best manage the next 3-6 weeks so that students have the stability and continuity available to them to keep learning until the Omicron surge subsides?”

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