Coronavirus, Education & Distance Learning

slisk250

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Those that know me are aware I’m a career educator for 30 years working the last 15 overseas in international schools. It’s never an easy job and if you haven’t been a teacher you have no idea what it’s like regardless of how many years you ever sat in a desk as a student. You have pressures from students, parents, administrators and the combined challenges of those can be overwhelming for most. Only the strong survive. The difference between my job and a public school teacher is mostly compensation but this post isn’t about the realities of being an impoverished United States public school educator, I fled that scene long ago and have a nice living.
The panic that is forcing school closures around the globe will have a negative impact on your children as they are isolated from their classmates and teachers. The workload involved in creating viable authentic engaging lessons including both live and recorded content will push the workforce to their limits. Parents will be forced to solve daycare issues this creates as well. Everyone suffers. Some of my colleagues can’t get their kids here due to travel restrictions and it is heart breaking. We contacted 16 school from the Far East to develop our plan then 48 hours of prep for tomorrow’s hard start.
Educators from the states know our value. We understand the general public does not as evidenced by stateside salaries and anti education politicians they support.
Tomorrow we officially start our forced distance learning program over here. It’s never happened before in the 75 year history of this school...not for Desert Storm, SARS, MERS, or a 2005 terrorist attack when 30+ expats were beheaded by extremists just outside our gates.
On the way home a few hours ago I was toast. I was numb from all the meetings and preparation so stopped at the commissary to get a coffee. While in line two moms were whining about having to manage their children while the teachers “enjoyed their vacation.”

They didn’t know who I was...so I introduced myself. The discussion wasn’t nice. I presume many parents in the states share their feelings. People will tweet and send letters to editors expressing the same. If this is you, think hard before you act. Support your kids and local teachers through a crisis. It’s more important than making sure you have a 4 month supply of Charmin.
 

davin

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Those that know me are aware I’m a career educator for 30 years working the last 15 overseas in international schools. It’s never an easy job and if you haven’t been a teacher you have no idea what it’s like regardless of how many years you ever sat in a desk as a student. You have pressures from students, parents, administrators and the combined challenges of those can be overwhelming for most. Only the strong survive. The difference between my job and a public school teacher is mostly compensation but this post isn’t about the realities of being an impoverished United States public school educator, I fled that scene long ago and have a nice living.
The panic that is forcing school closures around the globe will have a negative impact on your children as they are isolated from their classmates and teachers. The workload involved in creating viable authentic engaging lessons including both live and recorded content will push the workforce to their limits. Parents will be forced to solve daycare issues this creates as well. Everyone suffers. Some of my colleagues can’t get their kids here due to travel restrictions and it is heart breaking. We contacted 16 school from the Far East to develop our plan then 48 hours of prep for tomorrow’s hard start.
Educators from the states know our value. We understand the general public does not as evidenced by stateside salaries and anti education politicians they support.
Tomorrow we officially start our forced distance learning program over here. It’s never happened before in the 75 year history of this school...not for Desert Storm, SARS, MERS, or a 2005 terrorist attack when 30+ expats were beheaded by extremists just outside our gates.
On the way home a few hours ago I was toast. I was numb from all the meetings and preparation so stopped at the commissary to get a coffee. While in line two moms were whining about having to manage their children while the teachers “enjoyed their vacation.”

They didn’t know who I was...so I introduced myself. The discussion wasn’t nice. I presume many parents in the states share their feelings. People will tweet and send letters to editors expressing the same. If this is you, think hard before you act. Support your kids and local teachers through a crisis. It’s more important than making sure you have a 4 month supply of Charmin.
I support you bro
 

abby99

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Lots of support from me, too. What we pay our public school teachers is pathetic. It's certainly not commensurate with expectations and work load. Kudos to the dedicated educators who teach anyway.

I taught one class for one semester, and I vowed I'd never do it again. That's one vow I've kept!
 

Highli99

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It's sounds like a very tough situation. The parents you overheard clearly had a lack of understanding for the stress and additional work load this puts on educators. It also sounds like they are too distracted by their own stress to have proper empathy. It's gotta be tough as well for the working parents who need to change their lives in new ways as well. That's no excuse for their comments but it might be an explanation. People say and do things when stressed they they wouldn't do when not stressed. Kinda like tilt.

Best of luck the next few weeks. Hopefully this event ends soon so life can get back to normal.
 

FordPickup92

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You absolutely have one hundred percent of my support, if theres ever any contributions I can make or any way to spread information please let me know. My teachers were my biggest support and some of my best friends through school. I'm saddened this is happening, public education is such an important part of growth and social development.
Is there no feasible way to sanitize schools? Towson university here in MD closed, due to cases of the virus
 

abby99

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You absolutely have one hundred percent of my support, if theres ever any contributions I can make or any way to spread information please let me know. My teachers were my biggest support and some of my best friends through school. I'm saddened this is happening, public education is such an important part of growth and social development.
Is there no feasible way to sanitize schools? Towson university here in MD closed, due to cases of the virus
I can't imagine what it would take to sanitize an entire school once, let alone every day. Even if they could pull it off, the school would be contaminated before first period.
 

FordPickup92

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I can't imagine what it would take to sanitize an entire school once, let alone every day. Even if they could pull it off, the school would be contaminated before first period.
*sigh* dont really want to think about how dirty schools really are, especially cafeterias and gyms
 

Saoliver

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Those that know me are aware I’m a career educator for 30 years working the last 15 overseas in international schools. It’s never an easy job and if you haven’t been a teacher you have no idea what it’s like regardless of how many years you ever sat in a desk as a student. You have pressures from students, parents, administrators and the combined challenges of those can be overwhelming for most. Only the strong survive. The difference between my job and a public school teacher is mostly compensation but this post isn’t about the realities of being an impoverished United States public school educator, I fled that scene long ago and have a nice living.
The panic that is forcing school closures around the globe will have a negative impact on your children as they are isolated from their classmates and teachers. The workload involved in creating viable authentic engaging lessons including both live and recorded content will push the workforce to their limits. Parents will be forced to solve daycare issues this creates as well. Everyone suffers. Some of my colleagues can’t get their kids here due to travel restrictions and it is heart breaking. We contacted 16 school from the Far East to develop our plan then 48 hours of prep for tomorrow’s hard start.
Educators from the states know our value. We understand the general public does not as evidenced by stateside salaries and anti education politicians they support.
Tomorrow we officially start our forced distance learning program over here. It’s never happened before in the 75 year history of this school...not for Desert Storm, SARS, MERS, or a 2005 terrorist attack when 30+ expats were beheaded by extremists just outside our gates.
On the way home a few hours ago I was toast. I was numb from all the meetings and preparation so stopped at the commissary to get a coffee. While in line two moms were whining about having to manage their children while the teachers “enjoyed their vacation.”

They didn’t know who I was...so I introduced myself. The discussion wasn’t nice. I presume many parents in the states share their feelings. People will tweet and send letters to editors expressing the same. If this is you, think hard before you act. Support your kids and local teachers through a crisis. It’s more important than making sure you have a 4 month supply of Charmin.
Well said, Mike. Your job is not an easy one, and it just got harder.

My wife has been a teacher for 16 years in the Seattle area. We are in the area hardest hit by this. Many schools around here are closing for weeks. It is strange times as it seems everyone is on edge.
 

Payback

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My school district just got its first confirmed case this week. Administration has basically said our district is too big to close as it would be inconvenient to students and staff. We have 13 extra days built into our calendar, and we had no snow days this year, which means we have the time in the schedule to play with if needed, but given that we give 2, and sometimes 3 meals a day to students, heating/cooling, and a safe place for them to be means we only close under extreme circumstances anyways. Hell, we had a tornado rip through here not that long ago and schools stayed open despite the warnings. A high school student was then killed trying to come to school. A few weeks later, around the same time, we stayed open....
 

Coyote

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Regardless of any virus, teachers have a very tough job to do nowadays, 'cause idiotic parents, and, consequently, children, just reject any teaching:(

Ironically, people are marked as "cultivated" if they 've been to College, but the bitter truth is that true culture / profound education can only be given (outside the family) at primary school or junior high school. It's when the interest to learn something more is inspired; or NOT.
Of course, there is always the evil possibility of the family openly rejecting education as a whole, and valuing crude money/wealth above all, at all costs.
 

slisk250

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It's sounds like a very tough situation. The parents you overheard clearly had a lack of understanding for the stress and additional work load this puts on educators. It also sounds like they are too distracted by their own stress to have proper empathy. It's gotta be tough as well for the working parents who need to change their lives in new ways as well. That's no excuse for their comments but it might be an explanation. People say and do things when stressed they they wouldn't do when not stressed. Kinda like tilt.

Best of luck the next few weeks. Hopefully this event ends soon so life can get back to normal.

Life back to normal is the same parents bitching to their friends about lazy teachers who get summers off or don’t work hard enough or whatever. This virus has nothing to do with it, just another reason to trash public educators or education. That is the point of this. I’m venting for the ones left behind that are working for your kids.
 

BGinGA

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Of all the many vocational arcs and directions my adult life has taken over the past 45 years, none were as difficult, mentally stimulating, emotionally draining, -- and ultimately, personally rewarding -- as was teaching. I did it full-time for 5+ years, and another 15+ years either part-time or in conjunction with other duties during my professional career(s). Teachers, especially educators of children, have my profound respect.

Best wishes for you with the new challenges you face in the near future, Mike. :tup:
 

aaronroch

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I’m really good at teaching people things. I have a talent for it.
I’ve never considered becoming a teacher because my Dad taught public school and I swore I never wanted to work that hard.

I cannot imagine the additional difficulties that trying to suddenly switch over to distance learning adds



My hat is off to you sir.
 

APatHand

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I spent 30 years in Higher Ed at one of the largest research institutions in the country. The last couple of which were deeply involved in creating a series of online masters programs.
Every bit of it sucks.
Students have a sense of entitlement only exceed by that of their parents. Instructors and content creators are overburdened by administration driven by the economic bottom line. The concept of tenure to insure 'academic freedom' has been manipulated into a license to loaf.
For every point of light there are yawning gulfs of darkness.
Academic politics shut out those who could help repair the system.
Bottom line: Encourage your children to pursue a trade. Higher Ed is hugely overrated.
 

slisk250

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Of all the many vocational arcs and directions my adult life has taken over the past 45 years, none were as difficult, mentally stimulating, emotionally draining, -- and ultimately, personally rewarding -- as was teaching. I did it full-time for 5+ years, and another 15+ years either part-time or in conjunction with other duties during my professional career(s). Teachers, especially educators of children, have my profound respect.

Best wishes for you with the new challenges you face in the near future, Mike. :tup:

My reward could be a couple racks of 4Q 1s....
 

Ellasdaddy

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First year teaching Title I middle school in NYC. The situation is going to become untenable soon, but things are pretty stressful at the moment. I'm preparing my kids to take the state ELA exam on the 25th and 26th. Really high stakes. If they don't score at least as highly as last year, my rating suffers and they could miss out on their choices of high schools and programs. If things get bad before the exam, we don't know what the contingency will be. But kids and parents are now stressed and distracted by the exam and the virus and potential shutdowns. Teachers know that kids are typically gross and unkempt, so avoiding germs is impossible. Had a kid get sent home with lice this week. Have another who wears the same clothes for a week at a time. Washing his hands for 20 secs likely won't help anyone.

Distance learning is not an option for many students. Access to tech is a challenge. Lessons will just be guided practice through subscription software for those who can access it. I've got kids who live in shelters. Pack and go lunches will be available in a shutdown, but who volunteers to serve them? Should we even do that or does it defeat the purpose of a shutdown?

How does shutting down the largest babysitting service in the world, in the financial capital of the world, affect the economy and other families' lives? I'm just really concerned about it all, honestly. More scary times.
 

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My college has 23000 full time students, of which, over half are international students. We just came back from reading week. I fully expect that someone came back with covid and that my school will be closed within 2 weeks.

My wife is a RN. A doctor at her hospital came back from vacation in Hawaii, worked for 2 days and then came down with the virus. One of her co-workers is in 2 week isolation now. She made it through SARS, when many health care workers in Ontario didn't. Either through my job or hers, I fear we are not making it through this one.
 

APatHand

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My college has 23000 full time students, of which, over half are international students. We just came back from reading week. I fully expect that someone came back with covid and that my school will be closed within 2 weeks.

My wife is a RN. A doctor at her hospital came back from vacation in Hawaii, worked for 2 days and then came down with the virus. One of her co-workers is in 2 week isolation now. She made it through SARS, when many health care workers in Ontario didn't. Either through my job or hers, I fear we are not making it through this one.
Please define 'make it through' for reference. Are we talking uninfected or something more, uh, permanent?
 

justsomedude

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The panic that is forcing school closures around the globe will have a negative impact on your children as they are isolated from their classmates and teachers. The workload involved in creating viable authentic engaging lessons including both live and recorded content will push the workforce to their limits. Parents will be forced to solve daycare issues this creates as well. Everyone suffers. Some of my colleagues can’t get their kids here due to travel restrictions and it is heart breaking.

Great points, Mike. Stay tough and screw those parents. It's really amazing how far reaching this thing is...

My "big" clients are universities and higher education, and then conferences and conventions. As Covid (and the associated panic) has spread, my photo events have been cancelled left and right. I lost 3 events at a local university between today and tomorrow, and the rest of my March calendar looks f*cking brutal right now. I fear every email "ping" on my phone, because I know it's just another cancellation.

I just saw NAB cancelled in Vegas, and I'm sure there's an event photographer there who's now out about $7k - $10k in fees for that one. When these sports leagues and conferences shut down, it's not just the attendees and fans who get hit, there is a massive support staff who feels the pinch as well. From catering crews to caretakers, maintenance teams, to chair/table rental companies, cleaning crews, A/V and lighting designers, video and photo teams, events managers, etc.

The dominoes are falling... and people are getting clobbered in the wallet hard.
 

allforcharity

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I fully expect to contract it sooner or later, because my exposure risk is high. Hospitals have the biggest concentration of nasty infectious agents of all types compared to any other workplace.

I love teaching, but I don't think I could do it in a classroom format for any sustained period of time. Clinical preceptorships are more my thing.
 

Jeff

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Those that know me are aware I’m a career educator for 30 years working the last 15 overseas in international schools. It’s never an easy job and if you haven’t been a teacher you have no idea what it’s like regardless of how many years you ever sat in a desk as a student. You have pressures from students, parents, administrators and the combined challenges of those can be overwhelming for most. Only the strong survive. The difference between my job and a public school teacher is mostly compensation but this post isn’t about the realities of being an impoverished United States public school educator, I fled that scene long ago and have a nice living.
The panic that is forcing school closures around the globe will have a negative impact on your children as they are isolated from their classmates and teachers. The workload involved in creating viable authentic engaging lessons including both live and recorded content will push the workforce to their limits. Parents will be forced to solve daycare issues this creates as well. Everyone suffers. Some of my colleagues can’t get their kids here due to travel restrictions and it is heart breaking. We contacted 16 school from the Far East to develop our plan then 48 hours of prep for tomorrow’s hard start.
Educators from the states know our value. We understand the general public does not as evidenced by stateside salaries and anti education politicians they support.
Tomorrow we officially start our forced distance learning program over here. It’s never happened before in the 75 year history of this school...not for Desert Storm, SARS, MERS, or a 2005 terrorist attack when 30+ expats were beheaded by extremists just outside our gates.
On the way home a few hours ago I was toast. I was numb from all the meetings and preparation so stopped at the commissary to get a coffee. While in line two moms were whining about having to manage their children while the teachers “enjoyed their vacation.”

They didn’t know who I was...so I introduced myself. The discussion wasn’t nice. I presume many parents in the states share their feelings. People will tweet and send letters to editors expressing the same. If this is you, think hard before you act. Support your kids and local teachers through a crisis. It’s more important than making sure you have a 4 month supply of Charmin.
Sorry that you had hear that from those jerks. Wont be the first time a client/constituent (which is what parents are to teachers) are assholes and say stupid shit. I’m sure it was annoying as hell after the stress of your making extraordinary plans to try to keep their children safe.

Schools are uniquely problematic places in this kind of situation.

My son’s spring break starts on Friday. Kids traveling in many cases. His university is going to on-line learning when they come back. But they’re not making the kids leave School.

One question, though, would you have dealt with the situation differently in hindsight or if you had not been tired and wrung out?
 

Payback

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And just out of the blue my district is now shut down til March 30th. Fully paid vacation for me. My son's district next door is remaining open except for the break already planned for now, but are monitoring the situation and might change if needed. Never thought this day would come.
 

slisk250

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Sorry that you had hear that from those jerks. Wont be the first time a client/constituent (which is what parents are to teachers) are assholes and say stupid shit. I’m sure it was annoying as hell after the stress of your making extraordinary plans to try to keep their children safe.

Schools are uniquely problematic places in this kind of situation.

My son’s spring break starts on Friday. Kids traveling in many cases. His university is going to on-line learning when they come back. But they’re not making the kids leave School.

One question, though, would you have dealt with the situation differently in hindsight or if you had not been tired and wrung out?

calling them out is exactly what I do in every situation Jeff. This time it was worth writing about.
 

moose

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All public schools in Ontario closed for 3 weeks. My college got shut down an hour ago.
 

Jeff

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Our local public schools had spring break scheduled for two weeks one week from now. TOday they announced they are instituting online learning next week (the schools provide laptops or iPads for each student already) for that week and so effectively no kids in school for 3 weeks. They’ll decide what to do going forward.
 

Jeff

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Also, check out the commuter train.
This train is normally packed two to a Bench seat. Amazing
93F5678C-0BEB-4DE8-9499-95694D387C32.jpeg
 
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