Schools must open ASAP

I understand the hurdle is a mindset.

We can’t wait for things to get back to normal in order to open schools

Things are never going back to pre-pandemic normal.

Embrace it. That’s the truth.

Now that we are all firmly anchored in reality, we have great opportunities, to set up online learning. Sure, zoom is imperfect, but possible, and it is the way of the future, get with the program, or pick another profession.

My friends in education tell me that the role of the teacher as the exclusive conductor of knowledge is over, the teacher is from now on a facilitator of self-learning.

In the new reality, online learning AND frontal teaching can be combined into a hybrid, whose rules are being written right as we speak through trial and error.

We could try to teach at school, in small cluster groups, one from 8am to 11am and then the other from 12noon to 3pm.

Or teach kids in small cluster groups, one group on odd days, the other on even one.

We can drop a few subjects, make a smaller curriculum, and just teach RRR, reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic, which would lessen the burden, but cover the basics.

Most importantly, don’t postpone, kids need that interaction with their peers, besides, schooling is a basic human right, and they need an education, we don’t want to label them the Lost Generation.

Another suggestion:

One of my friends, a headmaster, is very accomplished and creative. He says he was ready to open, and did not see it coming — the recent school closing, and the postponement of the new academic year to Sept 1st.

I think we have many headmasters who did not see it coming, because they were ready. They are capable people, who can multi-task and operate on many levels, but they are hampered, nailed to the floor by SIMAR or whatever other teachers’ union they are working for.

We have a centralized school system.

Why not de-centralize??

Let these headmasters think for themselves and operated within their own capabilities. Liberate the headmasters, they have broad shoulders and would respond well when given a fabulous educational challenge, they know their kids and their teachers and they can improvise.

Flexibility is key, to a mindset change.

Meanwhile SIMAR can focus on getting all teachers vaccinated. GOA can follow New York City and the Pentagon by mandating Covid vaccines for all teachers and all GOA employees.

Masks, don’t forget to mandate masks at school!

 

 

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August 24, 2021
Rona Coster