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March 13, March 17, May 26: me/school

May 27, 2020 pm31 11:50 pm

Friday, March 13. That morning was an activity day at our school, “SpringFest”. The school play (I’m the advisor) had also been scheduled for that morning, but Lehman College shut the theater the previous day. Plus, two of our actors, without understudies, were not feeling well (I don’t think it was COVID).

During SpringFest several of us distributed a petition, addressed to de blasio, Carranza, and Mulgrew and everyone signed.

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And then we had remote parent teacher conferences (we’d SBO’ed that date – it was not the citywide date). Most teachers made their calls from home, but I stuck around. It was surreal.

The day ended at 3. This photo must be about 3:15.

 

The Mayor kept insisting he would keep schools open – Thursday, Friday (above), Saturday, Sunday, and finally Sunday afternoon, as he lost ally after ally, de blasio finally surrendered to the pressure. Students would stop going to school, but teachers were assigned in-school training for remote teaching Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

We will never know how the sickout planned for Monday would have gone. But teachers were nervous about their safety, even going in without kids.

The training itself was strange. There was no pre-packaged pd. No one knew how to do what we were about to try to do. The few people who had a clue were actual teachers. And even they mostly knew enough for their own class. Teachers who did not know much about what they were doing helped others who knew less, but we were all guided by central DoE staff who knew literally nothing. Staff learned how to use Zoom (which Carranza then banned 17 days later, and just unbanned in May). And we stumbled through the day, trying to maintain “social distancing” which we were just starting to learn about.

I focused on a few basics I thought I would need to teach remotely. And after that, why come back and put myself at more risk?

I took a photo of myself and left after the first day, and did not return.

Fast forward nine week. (with five weeks left). We know more. We will make it to the end. We are wiser. But exhausted.

The parking lot next to my school is a COVID-19 testing site, with state troopers and orderly lines of cars.

Our garden is overgrown. Litter is accumulating.

This is yesterday. And I am so ready to move on.

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