William Streitz, in his letter published Feb. 5, 2021, made serious charges against teachers: “influence peddling” . . . “collecting pay” they haven’t earned . . . “jumping the line” ahead of seniors for Covid shots” . . . “lack of integrity, dedication, and trust” . . . “blood on your hands” . . .”greedy workers.”
His basic premises are false: first, the decision to close schools was not made by teachers or teachers’ unions. Governmental bodies made the decisions on closures of all kinds, based on recommendations from the CDC and national virus experts.
Second, rather than less work in these long months schools have been closed, teachers have had far more work. Suddenly forced into on-line teaching, their lesson plans, teaching materials, and strategies geared to the classroom had to be re-thought and re-made to teach online. All this has been stressful and time-consuming—eating up many hours beyond the time spent interacting on-line with students.
Teachers’ and students miss being with each other and don’t get the rewards that come when a student “gets it” and they celebrate together.
Third, teachers are front-line workers; schools couldn’t open without teachers being vaccinated. We seniors have the luxury of avoiding crowded spaces like closed classrooms and don’t resent teachers getting their shots early so in-person schools can be up and running.
Most parents would strongly disagree with the ugly words Mr. Streitz’ uses to describe teachers: “greedy workers with blood on their hands.” Most believe teachers work hard and care deeply for their students and the communities in which they live.
I have friends who are teachers and without exception all have been doing their best under difficult circumstances. All are all eager to be back in their classrooms, working face to face with their students, doing their best