March 15, 2020
1.) You are amazing!
1.5) Take care of you and yours.
I am so proud to teach alongside some of the best educators in the USA! Your dedication to your students, and each other is truly remarkable. Not one of you balked at the overnight shift to Distance Learning Opportunities!
Sometimes our dedication to our craft and practice brings a need for a few reminders. I apologize up front for the length of this communication.
- If your own children need you, be there. Remember to care for yourself. Do you have what you need at home? Make that happen first. You will need to create stability in your own environment before you can come to the “virtual classroom.”
- Stress and anxiety: The entire world is on edge, and of course you are too. How are you managing that stress? Have you created a schedule for your “new life” under this school closure? Take care of you. Are you a runner? Go do it, or uncover that treadmill acting as a clothes hanger. Get on that stationary bike. Take a walk, download that too expensive yoga app…take a hike.
If you need anything! Access to food, help with child care, please email your representatives, or me. Now is the time when we come together to support each other.
- Remember, you are not required to hold a virtual class every day, nor must you post videos of yourself teaching, there are many ways to send out lessons/collect lessons/work, etc. Do you need help with this? We have each other.
- Remember, this is an unprecedented situation, please be kind to yourself through this transition. We are classroom teachers who have the ability to utilize tools that exist online (at varying levels), but truly “online educators” are required to take coursework prior to practicing this type of education. Manage your personal and professional perfectionism. This is not the time for self-judgement, or judgement of others.
- Whether or not we are on a campus, or in a virtual world, we are here to support each other. Reach out to each other often.
If you need something to support learning that has not been offered as a free tool/item, please send an email to tech, and to me, so that I may follow up in your behalf.
2.) Evolution of this shift: Equity
A few notes about expectations and moving forward with curriculum:
When we teach in our regular classrooms, we are able to instantly assess student understanding through visual cues, quick formative check-ins and assessments. Students can ask to go to the nurse and we know something is up, our students exist in front of us, our eyes, with relatively few distractions (not babysitting their younger siblings while parents work), etc. Right now, our normally “in-tune” teacher Super-Vision is temporarily obstructed, but more importantly our student’s “vision” of us is obstructed as well. This creates inequity where we usually have a more level educational environment.
The variance of access to technology, internet continuity, shared space/devices, family responsibilities, and other unknows creates an inherently inequitable situation. Please be mindful of this in your lesson designs, when students present work to you, access you during “office hours,” in planning assessments, and if they never show up to “virtual class,” they may have a good reason. Not all students will take to this mode of education. And that is okay.
A note about our “lens” as educators:
Please be mindful that you are not speaking directly to students in an environment where clarifying statements are regularly made in large group, small group, and in one-to-one learning situations. Your students cannot come up to you after class and ask questions. Although it may seem like ‘office hours’ will take care of such “clarification and communication,” remember that your students are not at all used to this format. Essentially, they have had instant gratification for their entire educational life. You teach something, they ask questions in real time, and the need is met. To write down a question, wait for a meeting, and then ask that question including all of the items required to get a full and exact understanding is a honed skill. And if this takes place in writing, there is yet another layer of understanding required. Many adults and professionals do not have these skills in their tool belt. Do not assume skills.
Interaction with administration:
Let administrators administrate. If you feel that you are being asked to do too much let me know. Remember the humanity in us all is dealing with anxiety, perfectionism, and stress including the LCUSD admin team. As you manage the communication with students, parents, and the stress that comes with that, so do our administrators. As this new experience unfolds, many shifts will occur. Let me know if you are in need of support understanding administrative requests, or directives at your site. No one should be doing more than can fit into our contract day. The LCUSD Board made this decision to keep all of us safe and healthy.
You should not feel overwhelmed as this reduces the ability for your immune system to fight off illness. Your students need you, but right now you have many other pressures at home as well. Manage your expectations of you and the expectations of others. Reach out to me if this is becoming too difficult.
The direction of our Superintendent has been that we are providing Distance Learning for enrichment and learning opportunities. When we get underway next week, please let me know if you are not experiencing this in reality.
I am available to all LCUSD teachers at: LCTAcontact@gmail.com Don’t hesitate to seek me out for whatever you may need. Remember that your site reps are also available to support you in whatever way you need! I will hold a google hang out at 2:15 Monday 3/16, Wed 3/18. Every teacher will be invited. If you know someone who is not getting the invitation, please share the invite.
LCTA leadership will meet with District Leadership 3/18, and the next LCUSD board meeting will take place 3/19.
Please pass this message on anyone who you know who did not receive this email.
My very best wishes for you & your family’s health!
President's Message - Jan. 2020
With the arrival of 2020, we look to an exciting and busy year ahead. Our LCTA members are greeting newborns, and returning from maternity leave while some of us say goodbye to loved ones who raised and supported us. Some are finishing master’s degrees and completing credential requirements while others are getting married, contemplating retirement from our ranks, or making college visits with their almost adult teens. With all of life’s goings-ons, we return from 2019 refreshed and ready to fill bright minds with knowledge and teach, yes teach, that thing we do so extremely well. As we enter a new decade, I want to remind you all of how special, talented and amazing you are as the educators that bring learning to students each day with unmatched energy, vitality and brilliance. May your dreams be fulfilled, and decisions be fulfilling in 2020, so that you all experience happiness, health and prosperity. My best 2020 wishes to you LCTA!