Article

March 22nd, 2021

Educator Voice: A call to acknowledge the work teachers have put in this year

CoronavirusEducationOnline Learning
Dr. Peter Hotez, vaccine scientist, speaks with Sari Beth Rosenberg, teacher and host of NewsHour EXTRA’s Educator/Staff Zoom series.

 

by Sari Beth Rosenberg, high school history, New York City

It has been an absolute honor to host the PBS NewsHour EXTRA Teacher and School Staff Zooms this year.

I have met hundreds of teachers from across the country and around the world, and I wish more politicians and journalists could be flies on the wall (or in the Zoom).

What’s missing from the narrative is that even though it has not been a typical school year due to the global pandemic, that does not mean that teachers and school staff are not working hard. What I’ve learned in our many Zooms is that educators are working harder than ever. At the same time, teachers and staff are feeling disheartened by the way the media has been covering them and their concerns about working in schools during the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

At the same time, teachers and staff are feeling disheartened by the way the media has been covering them and their concerns about working in schools during the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Many teachers and staff do not feel as though their schools have proper PPE or ventilation to keep them safe. Some work in districts in our nation where there are not mask mandates, making them feel terrified to go to work every day.

RELATED: Dr. Peter Hotez on why he prioritizes teachers during COVID

There has been a lot of coverage about the tragedy of the lost school year. Every single teacher and school staff member agrees that it has been a tragedy. However, they feel hurt and exhausted by the way they are being portrayed by the media and reopen schools advocates.

When teachers and school staff voice concerns about schools being safe during a global pandemic, they mean it, and they are not being “hysterical.”  They are not using it as an excuse to teach from home, because it is much more challenging to teach in the remote or hybrid models than in a physical classroom.

When teachers and school staff voice concerns about schools being safe during a global pandemic, they mean it, and they are not being ‘hysterical.’

I look forward to more media pieces about the heroic efforts of our nation’s educators doing their best to keep educating children during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.


Sari Beth Rosenberg has been teaching U.S. History at the High School for Environmental Studies, a public high school in NYC, for nearly 19 years. Find her on Twitter & Instagram @saribethrose, her teacher Instagram @sariteacheshistory and at saribeth.com

 

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