It is heartbreaking, and frankly, it is morally reprehensible the richest country in the world can’t provide the resources and the protection health care workers need and deserve to help people during this crisis. I saw a nurse on the news today stapling her face mask together to finish her shift. We are more worried about toilet paper than producing more face masks, gowns and face shields. There is no reason why health care workers are being sent into battle without the weapons they need to fight this crisis including proper protection for them. We should be pulling out all stops to get the resources to the people that need it so we have their backs because they certainly have ours. But they’re still showing up for work and getting the job done. And this reminds me of all of you. YOU. You’re all doing EXACTLY the same thing. Do public schools have enough resources when there is NO crisis? No. But you still show up for work and get the job done. You give your students the public education they all deserve. You make up for the inequities of funding and resources. And I love you all for it. I am so proud of all of YOU.
I took some time for myself today, worked out, planted some flowers, and took a nap. And yesterday too. Remember what I said yesterday? Take some time for yourself and RELAX. And yesterday, I took some time to help my wife in her classroom. Yes, things are very fluid indeed. My wife was told Friday they could send workbooks home. So I said, “I guess we’re doing this on the weekend when we’re supposed to be “with our loved ones” according to the district.” We had to rummage through each of the student desks (see photo below) with no protective gloves and take out all of their workbooks. And, then, we had to go buy paper bags at Raley’s and label each with the child’s name(see photo below). Oh, but the district will say this was optional. Really? It’s optional when you say to teachers can help their students? When has a teacher ever turned down to help a student? So, we spent four hours of our Saturday putting all of the workbooks into bags, labeled with their names, and hauled them to the cafeteria so parents can have more resources. This had to be done by 745am Monday. If I wasn’t there, it would have taken my wife 8 hours which would have been time she could have spent with her loved ones…that’s me by the way in case you were wondering. 😊
Frankly, and yes, I am going to say this…this is what happens when people make decisions, who haven’t been in the classroom for years, without the input of people on the front lines, the classroom teachers. I get it. I TOTALLY get it. I really do. We are going by the seat of our pants during this crisis, just like everyone else, but in a crisis, people want direction. Not mission statements. Not ever-changing directives. Not hashtags. We need to tell the troops what we want them to do, give them the training and the resources to win the battle, and the troops will get it done. I know you will.
And you know what…all they have to do is ask for our input, and I can get my team together on a moment’s notice, and we’ll draft a plan. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I have some pretty damn smart people on my team. Gonna give a shout out to our bargaining team of Carrie Doyle, Steve Grant, Chair Kris Hensley, Blaine Hipkins, and James Ward. And make sure to give a shout out to your site reps too.
But now, sharing decision-making isn’t something MUSD seems proud to do. Yet, they ask ME and YOU to help THEM pass Measure R. That’s more like let’s be teammates when it serves us. And yes, you can tell I am not a happy camper right now. But, that attitude doesn’t serve our work, our mission, our calling. We need to focus on helping you so you can help the kids. Tuesday, we bargain working conditions for the time period between April 6 and May 15.
You’ve read already quite a bit, but I want to encourage you to read the article. It will empower you, lower your stress, and make you feel appreciated. Click here to read it.
Maybe you saw it online already. I would encourage you to visit the Facebook pages that CTA has set up for teachers. It has a WEALTH of resources, but it’s mostly teachers venting and supporting one another. What you’re feeling…WE ARE ALL FEELING IT. Do you think you’re more compassionate and sensitive than me? Come on now, don’t answer that. I thought you were compassionate. 😊 Click here for that CTA Facebook page.