The Guardian: Work pressure in Covid lockdown was shattering, say teachers. “One in four teachers who answered questions about their mental wellbeing told the NASUWT union that they had needed to see a doctor or other medical professional because of the pandemic’s impact, with many undergoing counselling or taking antidepressants. A small number of the 4,700 members who replied said they had self-harmed within the last 12 months as a result of their work. Others reported that their relationships had broken down during the pandemic, and nearly one in three said they had increased their alcohol consumption as a means to cope with their job.”
New York Times: Why Child Care Staff Had to Show Up While Teachers Worked Remotely. “Over the last year, some educators, school officials and teachers’ union leaders in New York and across the country have declared that teachers are not babysitters, and that schools are not child care centers. The sentiment has been meant to convince the public that teachers should not be responsible for supervising children just so that parents can return to work. But while some educators have been able to work from home for much, if not all, of the pandemic, child care centers have emerged as substitute schools for many thousands of American children for whom online learning is not an option.”
A ‘daunting, dark and difficult’ time: How a Brooklyn school moved forward after losing its leader to COVID (Chalkbeat)
Chalkbeat: A ‘daunting, dark and difficult’ time: How a Brooklyn school moved forward after losing its leader to COVID. “For many students at the school, [Dez-Ann] Romain was the first educator they felt they could trust, and she deployed a mix of support and tough love. One former student said she counseled him after he broke down in tears over a failed Regents exit exam and let him walk at graduation anyway. (He eventually passed the exam.) Sometimes, she challenged basketball players to pushups if they were goofing around in the hallway instead of heading to class, Musole said. But just days after city officials shuttered school buildings citywide in March due to surging coronavirus infections, Brooklyn Democracy Academy suffered a devastating blow: Romain was dead.”
Chalkbeat: A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, school as we know it has been transformed. “School during the pandemic looks different for every district, every school, every family. For some there are plexiglass dividers and face shields; for others, Zoom and Google Classroom. Where one teacher eagerly attends class in person, another is filled with fear. The random testing, the grading systems, the hybrid schedules vary wildly. But one thing unites them all — school as we know it has been completely transformed.”
Route Fifty: ‘It’s Patchwork’: Rural Teachers Struggle to Connect in Pandemic. “Nearly a year after COVID-19 upended schools, many rural educators still struggle to reach and engage with students. Teachers say they worry about the mental health and well-being of the students they can’t see. And students miss deadlines and the chance to forge relationships with their peers, threatening both their academic achievement and social development.”
IndyStar: Teachers in Indiana of any age can be vaccinated through federal pharmacy program. “Gov. Eric Holcomb said Hoosier teachers of all ages will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. Even though the state eligibility has only opened to residents age 50 and older, all teachers can make appointments and get vaccinated through those pharmacies participating in the federal program. Holcomb said the White House will provide additional doses to those pharmacies for the prioritization of teachers.”
Larry Ferlazzo: The Best Face Masks For Teachers In The Classroom (Or, At Least, The Most Comfortable Ones)
Larry Ferlazzo: The Best Face Masks For Teachers In The Classroom (Or, At Least, The Most Comfortable Ones). “As regular readers know, our district, like many urban districts around the United States, will be returning to our physical classrooms soon. One of my concerns has been finding a face mask that will be comfortable to wear for hours at a time. So, I sent out this tweet today asking for advice.”
Poynter: Remote teaching has meant lots more improvising — even for improv professors. “Whether through formal training or simply a dawning awareness, many instructors say they are thinking more deeply about learning and student centeredness. As students increasingly express concerns about their own mental and emotional health during 2020’s pandemic, economic downturn and racial reckoning, instructors are finding new ways to be flexible. They are grappling with how to balance their expanded role — teacher, mentor, friend — with conveying content, and where to draw the lines among these roles.”
AJC: Georgia schools prepare for vaccinations of teachers, other staff. “Schools across Georgia are prepping for mass vaccination of their staff as soon as Gov. Brian Kemp expands eligibility to them. Many want to use their own nurses to administer the shots of COVID-19 vaccine, often with the help of local health departments and pharmacies, though not all have a nurse on staff.”
Google Blog: Learn with Google Arts & Culture. “Google Arts & Culture, in collaboration with more than 2000 cultural institutions, has long offered a range of tools and experiences to inspire those teaching virtually and everyone looking to learn online. To improve the experience and reflect how we’re all learning, today we’re launching Learn with Google Arts & Culture, a dedicated gateway for teachers, parents and students that brings together the stories, knowledge and treasures from cultural institutions around the world.”
Science: Keeping schools open without masks or quarantines doubled Swedish teachers’ COVID-19 risk. “A careful analysis of health data from Sweden suggests keeping schools open with only minimal precautions in the spring roughly doubled teachers’ risk of being diagnosed with the pandemic coronavirus. Their partners faced a 29% higher risk of becoming infected than partners of teachers who shifted to teaching online. Parents of children in school were 17% more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than those whose children were in remote learning.” This is important to note, but I think it’s also important to note that I’m not hearing anybody advocate reopening schools in the US without precautions.
Poynter: Our new Professor’s Press Pass delivers timely classroom lessons for journalism educators. “I remember wishing there was a wire service or app for teachers that would pick out the juiciest trends in journalism and deliver them on a silver platter to beleaguered professors. The Professor’s Press Pass is that tool. The service costs $12 a month or $100 a year, and your subscription goes directly back to creating more content for classrooms. A new classroom discussion topic is added each Friday, and I’ll give you a sneak peek in Alma Matters every issue.” Three samples are freely available online.
Smithsonian: Smithsonian and PBS To Provide Free Content to Educators. “The Smithsonian has announced a new collaboration with PBS to bring learning-ready content to Pre-K–12 educators nationwide. As museums remain closed due to COVID-19, beginning today, a collection of free, standards-aligned Smithsonian content will be brought to life on PBS LearningMedia—an online destination that serves more than 1.6 million users each month—with new resources to be added to this collection on a regular basis.”
Phys .org: Experts call for more pragmatic approach to higher education teaching. “In a new paper, Professor Newton, Dr. Ana Da Silva and Sam Berry argue that the findings of higher education research are not being used to develop and benefit educational practice. They say belief in ineffective methods such as Learning Styles persist, teaching quality and teacher performance are measured using subjective and potentially biased feedback while university educators have limited access to professional development.”