A riddle, can you solve it?

WHO AM I?

I am an influencer of people’s futures

I am thought of as a knowledge giver, but think of myself as a knowledge facilitator

I love what I do

I never have the same day twice , ever

I am a mover, it is rare to see me sitting

I am in charge of a multitude of individually unique objects that are most prized possessions, some even call them  “priceless”

I am a ethics and moral commissioner that holds court several times a day to rule on disputes

I am a disciplinarian

I am a planner, it is essential to my success and more importantly the people I care for

I am an entertainer whose skill is judged by the amount of eyes on me at one time

I am compensated monetarily to the equivalent of an executive assistant, construction worker, and correctional officer

I am a diligent paper worker and it has become more and more prevalent to my success

I am a master of standards that I did not help write

I am resourceful, I find ways to squeeze every penny, and even my own to be able to do my job

I am famous for my patience

I’m a multitasker, even though my field does not believe that multitasking is a real thing 

I am most likely in debt to student loans

I am a master digestor that can eat in 10 minutes while standing everyday

I’m a bladder controller. I pee at times that fit into my blocked schedule

And more recently…

I’m a defensive warrior. Some of us have even been trained to shoot guns and some legislators want us all to know how to shoot guns. 

And now I’m a participant of a live experiment that puts my health and others at potential risk.

WHO AM I?

Answer: teacher.

I’m sorry if this post pisses people off. I’m sorry if this is not a convenient truth, but listening to the ignorance of friends of mine who go on and on how kids don’t get sick and there is zero excuse to not open schools, is ignorant.

Maybe you need to be a principal of a school to understand that your responsibility is not just to the kids, but also, the teachers in your care. Or maybe you need to have two family members almost die to value life. 

But please just recognize the adults in the building too. That’s all I ask. Just think about if you would do their job right now. Some schools are able to open. Each school is unique in its student body, location (some can hold classes outside), etc and that there is no one size fits all. But to get angry at the teachers that are holding up the process is unfair. And to not think of them is selfish.

And while I’m on this rant…When governors say stupid things like “if we can open Walmart, we can open schools” my blood boils. Unlike Walmart, we have 100x the density and not the billions of capital to draw on to meet safety standards. We also can’t kick out our “customers” for not socially distancing or pulling down a mask. This is not a fair analogy and belittles the complexity of the schools.

Recently I’ve been zooming in/reading transcripts of public school meetings/ union meetings where teachers are sharing concerns. Each concern is so unique. Every time I hear something I never thought of.  One young teacher spoke so eloquently about her concern of hurting her students. She rents an apartment with several young adults and she can’t control where they go and what they do. Is she putting her students and families at risk? She can’t guarantee that she won’t get infected and spread to her students and ultimately their families. Last year she had a child in remission from cancer. She is now on anxiety medications to deal with her anxiety about the fall. Wow! That is an issue I never thought of! We keep talking about the older teachers health concerns, but the younger teachers also have unique fears/ issues.

And a school employs 100’s of these people. 100’s of different narratives. And already a job of sacrifice that is exhausting and hard, we add lab rat.

And people point to the data, you know I like data. We can study Israel. We can study Korea.  We can study Denmark. We can study countries that have successfully opened schools, but none of them had the infection rates that the US has. None of them opened without a national plan. And if the baseball league is struggling with what I thought was a well thought out plan with adults, who in theory, can live by the rules imposed for their safety, how can we confidently say opening schools are safe? 

We can’t.

And there is data on the other side to make us worry. The NYTimes reported over 6,000 cases linked to college campuses, the few that were operating, over the pandemic. Schools have the potential to be super spreaders. Children may not get sick, but the adults at home and the adults who sacrifice everyday for their learning are.

Let’s support our teachers. Not see them as the enemy.

Go teacher unions GO!

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