In many countries, we are seeing how not only the governments really view teachers but also the general population. While many still empathize with the teachers and their situation we have seen so many turn on teachers and force them back into unsafe teaching envrionments. For example, the recent CDC advice in the USA where they told teachers to open windows for ventalation.
Policies like this show that they are not listening to teachers and they are trying to make suggestions for teachers without ever being in a classroom or ever even asking teachers what will work. For those that aren’t teachers, the CDC suggestion about windows is problematic because a) many classrooms don’t have windows that can open and b) many schools don’t allow windows to be opened in certain classrooms because of school shootings. This suggestion comes because airborne transmission IS an issue but they just don’t have a solution for teachers. They are telling us to “get back in the classroom and we will figure this out on the run.”
It is not just the US though. Other nations are forcing their teachers back into unsafe conditions as well. A recent article out of the UK is titled “Teachers should be prepared to ‘sacrifice their lives’, says ex-Ofsted head.” And the sad thing is that there are parts of the population that believe this. In the US they went from claiming we were heroes to claiming we were bums refusing to work very quickly.
Also, many seem to think that teachers stopped working during distance learning or virtual learning. This is actually the opposite. Many teachers had to learn new skills, new tech tools, and spend more hours during the week completing their teacher responsibilities. All the while we had people telling us our education system is useless one day and the next day telling us to open in-person schooling because we are essential. On top of that school districts across the nation (USA) are seeing budgets slashed — with teacher raises, COL, and steps being either frozen or reduced.
Some schools are doing it right
Don’t get me wrong, some schools are in fact doing it right. They are investing in the safety materials to make their school safe, they are setting up strict guidelines for their schools, they are ensuring the safety of the teachers and students, and they are listening to their teachers.