After my last blog, I bet the last thing you are expecting from me is to say that Charlie Baker did something right. Well, here it goes.
Governor Baker announced today that teachers will soon be eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine.
Before you think I’m changing my tune, let me just say this. It is WAY too late for this. Sending kids back to school should have been one of the highest priorities. The numbers of self-harm and other isolation related mental health issues are on sky rocketing. This alone is reason enough to rush the students back to school so they won’t be isolated any longer. Not to mention the academic issues that will plague the students for years as a result of the shut downs.
That being said, it is just a logical idea to get teachers vaccinated. They are exposed to kids from all walks of life. And let’s be honest here, kids aren’t great about their personal hygiene and cleanliness. Especially the little ones. Not only that, schools are one of the most important mass gathering places in our country. They need to be covered so they can work the way they are supposed to.
As a teacher who has been teaching in person since the fall, I know how much more kids learn while they are actually at school. Remote learning is better than nothing, but it is not even close to what real teaching is.
As I wrote sometime back, real teachers want to be in school teaching their students. Nobody who actually cares about the kids wants to have them sitting in front of a computer. If any of you know of any teachers that say remote learning is the best option right now, they are being disingenuous.
People see what the big unions are saying on TV and simply assume it is all of us teachers. Lucky for me, I am no longer in the union because I moved to a private school. Unfortunately, a lot of great teachers are bound by what these big unions are trying to do.
For the better part of a year, we heard big unions like the MTA screaming “we won’t go back until there is a vaccine!” Even though the data says that schools aren’t the biggest spreader events. Well, here we sit. The vaccine is here and it is open to teachers. The question then becomes, will the unions be prepared to go back to school once they get the vaccine? Or will they pull the wait and see line so they can get months off and do some more political posturing.
That’s all it really comes down to. People love time off. That’s simple. The more dangerous part is the political pawns that kids have been used as. The big unions held kids hostage at home to try and further their political agenda. This isn’t all teachers, it is just those in positions of power. Take a look at the head of California’s teacher union Matt Meyer. He has been saying that remote learning is the best option for kids at this time. Meanwhile, he sent his kids to private school because he knows it is best for kids to be in school. The pure hypocrisy is horrifying and just shows the total disregard for kids some of these unions have.
With teachers getting vaccines, there should be no reason that kids aren’t full time, and in person in the coming months. I would even propose that if schools were full remote up until that point, that the kids should go in the summer to try and make up for lost time.
Here is an easy solution if, even after vaccinations, teachers refuse to go to school. Fire them. It’s simple insubordination. They aren’t fulfilling their contracts. There’s plenty of young teachers out there who would love those jobs.
I’ll end with a message directly to parents and students who have brought to the end of their ropes with this remote learning. Just know, the teachers that actually care about you are ready and willing to go back to work. Some of us already are, and doing great work. If your teachers unions in your district continue to refuse in person education, even after getting what they’ve been screaming about for months, go elsewhere. Kids’ lives are more important than extended vacations and political agendas. Use forms of peaceful protests. Hold good old fashion sit-ins and force these unions’ hands. Tell them that there are no more excuses. Kids need school, not to stare at computer screens all day.