I’m a Nurse. Teachers Should Do Their Jobs, Just Like I Did.

Schools are essential to the functioning of our society, and that makes teachers essential workers.

The other day my husband, a public-school teacher in New York City, got a string of texts from a work friend. After checking in on our family and picking up their ongoing conversation about books and TV shows, she wrote, “So, are we going on a teacher strike in the fall?”

“What!? No!” My husband is adamantly against a strike, because he understands on a deep, personal level his duty to serve his country in the classroom.

We have two young children, one of whom is developmentally disabled, and I’m an intensive-care nurse. Through the spring, I took care of COVID-19 patients at the hospital while he toggled between teaching on Zoom and helping our daughters through their own lessons. He knows that I did my part for society, and that now he should, too.

We wouldn’t be in this mess of uncertainty about the coming school year if the federal government had managed to control the virus; any glimmer of leadership from the president would have gone a long way. Grievances and fear are understandable. I support teacher-led campaigns to make sure that safety measures are in place. And any city or state experiencing a spike in cases should keep schools shut, along with indoor businesses.

What I don’t support is preemptively threatening “safety strikes,” as the American Federation of Teachers did in late July. These threats run counter to the fact that, by and large, school districts are already fine-tuning social-distancing measures and mandating mask-wearing. Teachers are not being asked to work without precautions, but some overlook this: the politics of mask-wearing have gotten so ridiculous that many seem to believe masks only protect other people, or are largely symbolic. They’re not. Nurses and doctors know that masks do a lot to keep us safe, and that other basics such as hand-washing and social distancing are effective at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Instead of taking the summer to hone arguments against returning to the classroom, administrators and teachers should be thinking about how they can best support children and their families through a turbulent time. Schools are essential to the functioning of our society, and that makes teachers essential workers. They should rise to the occasion even if it makes them nervous, just like health-care workers have.

My husband, playing devil’s advocate while we discussed this (we both know how eager he is to go back), said, “Arguably health-care workers sort of signed up for this kind of risk, but teachers did not.”

I replied, “Absolutely not!” Doctors and nurses sign up for work that is sometimes high-stress for us and sometimes life-or-death for our patients, not for us. Aside from those who choose to work in biocontainment or offer their services in war zones, we are not expected to do crucial medical work under potentially lethal circumstances.

I was terrified when I started taking care of COVID-19 ICU patients. Before my first COVID-19 shift, I had panic attacks that made me wheeze, and I walked onto the unit my first day in tears (so in addition to being terrified, I was also really embarrassed). My co-workers felt similarly. I heard an attending physician say, of her daughter, “What if she loses her mother?” and I read through a young nurse’s freshly written will, no joke.

In those early days, I confessed my anxieties to an acquaintance, and he asked whether I could take a medical leave of absence. I could have taken a leave, and teachers in need can too. (And parents who want their children to stay home have that option, whether through homeschooling or continued remote learning.) But I said, “No, I can’t just chump out!” Chump wasn’t the right word—at the moment, I was almost hysterical, and it was hard for me to even articulate how I felt, called upon to do something frightening and hard that I viscerally did not want to do.

The military language people used when discussing COVID-19 in the spring seemed totally appropriate, and in a way that mentality got me through the peak: This was a war, and I was a soldier. It wasn’t my choice to serve, but it was my duty; I had skills and knowledge that were needed.

So I can understand that teachers are nervous about returning to school. But they should take a cue from their fellow essential workers and do their job. Even people who think there’s a fundamental difference between a nurse and a teacher in a pandemic must realize that there isn’t one between a grocery-store worker and a teacher, in terms of obligation. People who work at grocery stores in no way signed up to expose themselves to disease, but we expected them to go to work, and they did. If they had not, society would have collapsed. What do teachers think will happen if working parents cannot send their children to school? Life as we know it simply will not go on.

When some of my husband’s students told him that they had continued working as cashiers throughout the spring and summer, he said, “Wow, that’s so courageous of you.” He feels that he doesn’t really have anything to show for himself, and he looks forward to the time when he will. Now, contemplating the possibility of teachers striking, he says, “Bowing out wouldn’t be a good example to set for our students.”

Teachers signed up to be a positive adult presence in children’s lives, and to help them grow up with their peers, at school, away from home. We need them to follow through, even though it’s a challenge. It’s going to be hard; it’s going to be stressful; it’s not going to be perfect. “I can’t think of one time that there was actually hand soap in the men’s bathroom,” my husband told me. That’ll have to change, hopefully for good. The point is that everyone is going to have to go above and beyond. But teachers are smart and adaptable. They can do this.

In the days before I first took care of COVID-19 patients, I discovered a deeper fear. Beneath my panic over exposing myself to the disease, I was also afraid that the work would be too difficult, too fast-paced, too chaotic: I was afraid I would fail. When I came to the hospital, I discovered that solidarity, flexibility, kindness, and a willingness to learn would be integral elements of nursing through a pandemic, and I knew I wouldn’t fail—the skills I had were the very reason I had been called upon to do this work. The same is true of teaching through a pandemic.

Source: https://www.theatlantic.com

 

How to dress the teacher

Dressing professionally lends credibility to your colleagues, as well as your students. If you want to be considered a professional as a teacher, than you need to dress appropriately. The above tips will help you.

In today’s classrooms, many teachers have taken it upon themselves to make every day be dress down day. While you may see lot of “appropriate” causal clothing on the market, it doesn’t mean that it’s right for the classroom. Many teachers may argue that they are on their feet all day, or they have to care for the little ones. While this may ring true, it is still a fact that your choice of teacher clothes reflects the impression that you want to make upon others. There is no denying the fact that what you wear has an impact on whoever sees you; have it be students, parents, or administrators. Like it or not, your outer appearance makes a difference. As a teacher, you want to send the right impression. Here are a few tips for teacher clothes and what you should and shouldn’t wear in the classroom.

Tailored Clothes

Make sure that your closed are washed, pressed, and fit well. This may seem obvious to some, but you would be surprised how many teachers just wake up and put on any old thing. It’s best to wash and press your clothes the night before school. This will give you extra time in the morning to get ready. As far as tailoring goes, it’s important that your clothes fit well and are not too small, or too big.

Jewelry

Simple and minimal are the key when choosing your accessories for your outfit. Too much jewelry may result in you losing, snagging, or misplacing your jewels. When choosing your accessories for school think minimal. Choose one bracelet, and a simple pair of studs. Or, one necklace and small hoop earring. As far as wearing religious jewelry to school, make sure you ask your school district first. Most school districts like to promote an atmosphere that is neutral. The last thing that you want do is offend anyone.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

A teacher’s day is long, and you are on your feet most of the day. So, you want to choose shoes that are comfortable, as well as fashionable. When choosing shoes, choose sensible flats, kitten heels, small wedges, or closed-toe shoes. Fashion boots may also be an option. Do not choose flip flops, high heels, or sneakers. Sneakers are something that you wear to the gym, not to work.

Fitting Clothes

Choose clothes that are functional, as well as fashionable. When building your wardrobe, select basics such as a few tops, pants, sweaters, skirts, and jackets in neutral colors so they will be easy to match. For men, choose a few pairs of pants that fit well. Next, choose a few shirts in a variety of colors that compliment your skin tone. Do not dress like you are going to a club, where your clothes are ill fitting and not appropriate for the work environment.  This can be distracting to your students and co-workers.

Trends

Avoid dressing like your students. Every year a new trend emerges and young teachers think that they can pull it off, don’t do it. It’s OK to embrace the trends, but as long as they are age appropriate and OK for the work atmosphere. The last that you want to do is be mistaken for one of your students. Try pairing a simple scarf with a pair of ballet flats. This outfit seems to never go out of style.

Makeup

When choosing your makeup, think simple, and fresh-faced. You are not going out for a girl’s night, you are going to teach young, impressionable children. Soft makeup is best; mascara, nude lip gloss, light peachy tone blush, and a warm colored eye shadow is all that you need.

10 Types of Parents at a Parent Teacher Meeting

 Parent teacher meeting is for interaction between parents and teachers to help the child. But some parents really give a hard time to the teacher. It’s a day when a most naughty and mischievous child transforms into the innocent one in front of parents. It’s also a day when a new form of parents is revealed which you never knew existed. I have attended many parent teacher meetings and there are different types of parents at a PTM.

  1. Can’t let go parents – These parents do not leave until they discuss everything about their child family with the teacher. Sometimes I really wonder what are they talking about for so long when I still have to figure out what to ask the teacher. Such helicopter parents should be given a slot at the end of the session. Also, there should be a time limit for each parent with the class teacher I feel its more waiting than the actual meeting. There are long queues to meet the teacher and these ‘can’t let go parents‘ are the ones who are responsible for this extra waiting time.
  2. Know it all parents – These parents just smile, nod and say ‘I KNOW MADAM’ at the end of each sentence by the teacher. Even if the teacher is complaining about their child, they just smile and inform the teacher that they know everything and there is nothing new. I really wonder why they even come for the meeting when they already know everything.
  3. A hurried parent – These parents are always in a hurry. So they just greet the teacher, ask how the child is doing and sign the parent form and leave. They are the unenthusiastic ones who wonder – why school keeps a PTM and what’s the use of a PTM?
  4. Scolding parents – A terrified child and an angry looking parent is a common sight in these meetings. These parents have a very serious face throughout the meeting and a child who looks like he can cry any minute. They won’t even wait for teachers to give the feedback as they are busy scolding their child.
  5. Talkative parents – These types of parents won’t let teacher talk as they have a lot of things to share with the teacher. They talk as if they were just waiting for the next PTM to share everything about the child. This is an opposite case of ‘know it all parents’ as in this case, the teacher is the one who smiles, nods and listens.
  6. Sad parents – Whenever I see such parents, I feel like going and giving them a hug. They look as if the world is coming to an end and now no one can save them and their child. They enter the school with a sad face and leave the school with a sad face. When teachers see such parents, they actually take their complaints back to cheer them up.
  7. Complaining parents – These parents think that their child has no problem but it’s the school that has a problem. Before the teacher gives any reviews about the child, they start complaining about the school. According to them, everything from infrastructure to staff and from curriculum to teachers is wrong and that’s the reason their child is not performing well.
  8. Ghost parents – These parents miss many parent teacher meetings and sometimes don’t show up after emails from teachers. So, when they finally show up for the meetings, the teacher makes sure to lock the door before they run away.
  9. Interrogating parents – These parents have a long list of questions ready for the teacher- When is the field trip? When are the exams starting? Why there was no extra period this week? Why do you allow latecomers? What is the plan for sports day? It is more like an interview for the teacher than a parent teacher meeting. Even when teacher answers all the questions, they still have this unsatisfactory look on their face. If the teachers by any chance see this parent outside the school, I am sure she will either run or hide from them.
  10. Not on the same page parents – These parents are never on the same page and often say different things at the same time to the teacher. They do not agree to each other’s point of view and end up fighting in front of teachers. As a result, either only mom is talking or only dad. The other parent is just a silent parent who came there just to support the other one.

Have you observed different types of parents at a parent teacher meeting? Which type of parent are you?

Source: https://kreativemommy.com/types-parent-teacher-meeting/