What will schools look like when they reopen? Will teachers and students be required to wear face masks? How will social distancing happen throughout the school day? Will distance learning continue? How can teachers in high-risk groups protect themselves?
You have a lot of questions, and we invite you to join a live webinar where State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona and members of his staff will listen to your questions and address your concerns.
Hosted by CEA President Jeff Leake, the webinar will take place on Monday, June 8 from 4 – 5:30 p.m. and will focus on health and safety procedures that must be in place when schools reopen.
A virtual forum hosted by CEA brought elementary school classroom teachers, special education teachers, media specialists, literacy coaches, school social workers, and others together to share tips, tricks, and challenges—and a few laughs—related to distance learning.
Among the hurdles teachers reported:
- “Different schools and districts are comparing themselves to each other, but we don’t all have the same capacity and resources.”
- “If we have to do this in the fall, we need time—teachers need time, teams need time—to really plan and make this work. We are already finding ourselves working long days and nights, often until 11 p.m.”
- “The level of documentation for special education teachers is through the roof. It took me four hours to update my assignment log and parent contact log. I’m working 10-to-14-hour days, seven days a week. It’s a good thing my own children are grown, but many of my colleagues also have school-age children at home.”
- “Some Facebook groups have become pretty hostile, so set your boundaries.”
- “One student told me she left her apartment yesterday for the first time in eight weeks. How can that be good?”
- “My own son has regressed a little bit during this time, needing me—his parent—around all the time.”
- “I’m afraid we’re either going to see a zillion new referrals for special education in the fall or none at all. And neither is a good scenario.”
- “Student engagement has not been tackled or figured out, so grading is going to be a challenge.”
- “There is a huge difference in live versus asynchronous learning within and among districts. Some districts have legal guidance prohibiting certain things, such as live video conferencing, while others allow it. There’s no consistency.”
- “As a school media specialist, I’ve been on the tech end of it, rolling out Chromebooks, figuring out how to get them handed out, helping students and parents learn how to use them, getting families access to Wi-Fi. Not every parent or child has the same facility with technology. Not every family has the same access.”
- “I had a parent say this about his student: ‘I had no idea he would be like this. I am so sorry.’”
- “You can definitely tell that some students are getting a lot of help from parents while others are left on their own.
- “In the beginning, we were told that we didn’t have to track students’ assignments, but now we are having to track all of this and to pick standards for grading first-graders with all these varying degrees of help at home.”
- “Sometimes you are seeing students who were having trouble composing a complete sentence and are now submitting whole opinion pieces with an introduction, body, and conclusion. I had a parent admit to me that she’s been doing all of her second-grader’s work all week.”
- “What is this going to look like in September, if we are still doing virtual learning and I have five-and six year olds that I don’t know? At least with this class, I had more than half the school year to get to know these little ones. I just am so concerned about what’s going to happen when these very young children are new to this, and I’ve never met them and have to teach them this way.”
The news regarding the coronavirus is changing daily. Today’s announcement from the State Department of Education is that, effective immediately, all components of the educator evaluation and support plan are waived for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
“I encourage educators to continue collaborative dialogue around teaching and learning as we continue to serve our Connecticut students,” Dr. Shuana K. Tucker, the Department’s chief talent officer, wrote in a letter to superintendents. “Opportunities for professional learning and career development can and should continue to the greatest extent possible.”
With so much in flux, keeping up with the daily educational developments and changes can be difficult.
CEA is here to help you.
On Friday, March 27, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., CEA is hosting a webinar—Navigating COVID-19: Stronger Together—to share the latest developments that impact you and your students. Read more