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Notes from Friday

September 18, 2020 pm30 10:59 pm

It’s been a hell of a day and a hell of a week and a hell of a last six months.

Six months ago, today, I did not report to work. The risk was not worth the PD. Fast forward to last week and the week before, and our PD was teacher led, topics were chosen by polling teachers, and some was mandatory, but the sessions that were voluntary were still full. I wish the people in charge of PD at the Department of Education could come to a school that is doing bottom-up PD, and learn what the good stuff looks like.

Today Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. There will be mourning and a nomination fight and a vicious 46 days until the election.

Today I read that Jose Vilson resigned. Where is he going? I don’t know. But I wish him adventures and success and the opportunity to break some stuff. Some stuff needs to get broken.

Met my classes. Yesterday, actually. Yes I like being in class. And no, I don’t like doing it on the computer. And yes, I wish it were in person, but not until conditions are ready. This feels like a ritualistic repetition, a prayer without meaning, a politicians “of course I ….” recited at some point in each speech. It’s true, all of it, but why do we all feel the need suddenly to say we like teaching? This is our chosen career. Maybe we should be.a little less defensive about it, all of us.

But we practiced break out rooms and using virtual whiteboards, which, by the way, virtually suck. But kids like making hearts and arrows and writing “POG” and “POGGERS” frequently enough that the Old felt compelled to look it up to make sure it wasn’t evil or dirty.

After work today my feet took me to Fordham, where I found an alum at a small rally (maybe 100) for remote openings. Cool. And then a woman spoke and we looked at each other, and we thought we knew her. Sure enough, our Assembly Member, Nathalia Fernandez, making some noise and running for Borough President. We chatted for a minute, about schools, and my school (she says she will help with a diversity initiative), and a friend’s school that an Assembly Member from the neighboring district is helping move to all remote…

So I wish there was a nice moral, or a summary, or a clear conclusion. But these are starting points, way points, premonitions of a tumultuous autumn. These are signs pointing to events to come.

How WILL my online classes go, what political turmoil and violence will arrive in RBG’s wake, where IS The Jose Vilson headed, and how WILL the fight for all remote in NYC proceed – and will my union leadership join it?


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Samuel Noel permalink
    September 19, 2020 am30 6:14 am 6:14 am

    I wish most PD was organic, teachers teaching teachers. We had very few of that and instead spent days on workshops on how to be culturally responsive to students of color. This mandate from the district has good intentions but in our case, we’re teachers of color. These workshops were at the undergraduate 100 level and any person of color already has a PhD on the subject. Meanwhile, we still didn’t have programs yet. I don’t like building a plane while it’s in the air. I also don’t see why we’re doing A, B, C social distancing groups while we’re full remote. A waste of instructional time seeing kids online 1-2 times a week and busy work when we don’t cause there’s no staff for hybrid remote.

  2. September 19, 2020 am30 10:00 am 10:00 am

    We used to have a lot more teacher developed and led PD before Klein and the break up of the large high schools. There was an advantage to having a department with a range of knowledge and experience.

    The disruption that de Blasio is causing is astounding, even for him. I don’t know that we will open at all – but 10 additional days of closure at a time, when we don’t know what will happen next…?

  3. September 20, 2020 pm30 7:17 pm 7:17 pm

    I’m never too far, JD. Thank you, sir.

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