Usually my posts are not about anything that most people would consider controversial. I try not to sound “preachy” because I’ve been in the trenches, and I know that the majority of the educators are doing the best we can – but we all make mistakes, and we can certainly disagree on what is “best.”
I’m about to bring some hate down on me, and I know this because of a recent Twitter interaction, which definitely resulted in mixed responses. But I want to clear the air of some misconceptions that I’ve been hearing lately, and this is the only way that I can think to do it.
I was listening to a podcast called, “Reasonable Doubt,” while walking my dog on Monday. The show is hosted by Adam Carolla and Mark Geragos, and they discuss different current legal issues. I find their comments intriguing, and they often open up my perspective on topics. There are times that I don’t agree with what they have to say, but I enjoy hearing a variety of views, and they sometimes change my mind.
During the 3/28/2020 episode, the two hosts made a few comments about how teachers would be more willing for schools to open back up if they weren’t getting paid right now. They suggested that teachers are not currently working, and that they are enjoying this paid vacation. This was completely contrary to what I have been hearing from the teachers I know, so I decided to disagree with them in a Tweet:
@markgeragos and @adamcarolla I feel that you were unfair to teachers in your recent podcast. You stated several times that they were getting paid to not work right now, but I disagree. Most of them are working harder than ever and can’t wait to get back to classrooms.
— Terri Eichholz (@terrieichholz) April 1, 2020
Surprisingly, @adamcarolla responded with, “got it,” which is a nice way for him to say that I was heard, without necessarily agreeing with me. Not a problem.
As one person replied, and rightly so, “You know most teachers?! That’s a lot of people!”
I responded, “You are correct. I should have said that as an educator of 29 years I know a lot of teachers, and many of them have shared with me the stress of switching their courses to remote learning, and that they miss face2face with their students.”
A few people have supported my response, with specific examples. A few people have said they know teachers who are useless or are just playing video games. One person – so far – has used an obscenity.
I’m a big Devil’s Advocate kind of person, so I often look at my own arguments and think, “What if I’m wrong?” So, here’s the thing: I understand that I’m in a bubble of educators who will, of course, claim they are working hard. It’s probably not going to change anyone’s mind if we barrage social media with teachers protesting that they are working long hours, many of them also having to take care of young children simultaneously. What I would like is for you to share this, and for anyone who parents a child currently involved in remote learning (or for any child who is old enough to respond) to tell us your perception of how hard (or not) teachers are working. Let me know in the comments below, or let @adamcarolla and @markgeragos know (politely!) the level of effort you think teachers are making right now.