Dear BC Parents,

Please know teachers are doing whatever we can to make #bced safer & more flexible for our students & families. We are in stunned shock that admin & staff have to do this largely by ourselves, in midst of global pandemic, despite a “people first” @bcndp govt. /1
Teacher are connecting across province to compare what districts provide. We understand options/safety differ vastly from school to school. This is EXACTLY what we feared when @Rob_Fleming offloaded #bced responsibility to districts instead of providing overarching consistency./2
For example, in one school a Dad went out & bought plexiglass & built barriers for the desks of every student in the school. Why? Because that is protection that is now offered in every place where people meet, spittle can spray, and people can get infected. Except in schools. /3
In another school #bced teacher spent own money & built plexiglass barriers for all his colleagues. Now, tell me @bcfed what other worker has to go buy basic protections for job because employer simply refuses to. Flat out says no. Plexiglass is everywhere. Except in schools /4
In other schools PACs are buying protections for staff & students, trying to do what they can to help #bced. But why should PACs spend hard-earned fundraising dollars on something that should be funded properly by @bcndp? And what about school PACs & parents who don’t have $$? /5
And let’s be under no illusion about federal $. If your child is in district with int. students, a large chunk of fed $ is not for enhanced safety but to offset massive deficit created by drop in enrolment. Years of underfunding #bced has meant increased reliance on foreign $. /6
Instead of decreasing class size, adding proper ventilation, ensuring spittle spray barriers & portable hand washing stations, districts are surplussing teachers, in some cases making classes bigger & moving teachers online. Not adding resources, simply moving resources around./7
Teachers had to fight hard just to get masks in hallways where 100s interact multiple times a day. This is more than just frustrating, hair-pulling & scary. This is dangerous. Science on masks is clear & they are mandated in public places based on science. Except in schools. /8
And now reports are coming fast in our #bced teacher conversations. Cases in schools confirmed, likely, suspected. Of course #covid has started to infect our schools: we were not given enough time to be ready, goalposts keep changing & the system is Swiss cheese for safety. /9
Wear masks? Meh. Plexiglass? Not needed. Mixed “cohorts” at lunch? It’s fine. No room to distance in class? No need to distance. Outbreaks? Let’s call them clusters & limit reporting of them. No ventilation? Open windows. Wildfires & worst air in world? Close windows. /10 #bced
Day 2 parents & we’ve already run a marathon. We love teaching your child & even with masks they can see our smiles for them in the crinkle of our eyes. We keep waiting for a calvary of common sense. Fixing this is above our pay grade but we’re trying to keep your child safe. /11

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More from @TalkerTeacher

5 Sep
It’s Saturday before we start back to school & I acknowledge how different things need to be during a global pandemic. But, let me tell you, as teacher for 3 decades, this doesn’t just feel different. This feels wrong. Like spider senses tingling, pit in stomach wrong. #bced /1
My duty is to the well-being of my students. I feel I have done right by them over the decades. Taught them as best I could, stayed on top of my pro-d, honed my craft, provided enrichment opportunities, nudged, cajoled, listened, felt. Been there. You know what I mean? #bced /2
There is no profession so connected to others as teaching. None. I’ve taken students on trips, helped in tight spots, passed tissue box as they hurt, laughed with them in class until I almost peed, been to weddings & sadly some funerals. This is why we are such #bced warriors. /3
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