To the Editor: The New York Post rushes at breakneck speed, like a tow-truck to collision carnage, to any site where it may find a wreck, such as the public-school system.
It recently published the results of a survey which showed that 60 percent of educators would bail out of their jobs if it didn't involve a devastating financial hit.
The survey indicated widespread dissatisfaction with "training, learning models, staffing and resources" and frustration with the plight of students with learning disabilities whose special needs were being neglected. It cited the Department of Education's lack of "consistency, transparency and leadership"
The historic institutional weaknesses of the DoE are perceived as growing more flagrant and perilous, as it failed to rise to the challenge of the pandemic crisis.
With so much at stake, many educators feel jaded and powerless. This is not "what they signed up for."
They are torn between an instinctive desire to be in the classroom, which is vastly preferable to "remote learning" and allows their bond with students to flourish, and fear that it would compromise health and safety.
Perhaps they feel some guilt over opposing re-opening schools despite its advantages from academic and social-emotional-learning standpoints.
The survey was conducted by a group of educators who believe that health risks outweigh any benefits of in-person instruction and therefore all schools should be closed for now. They note that 4 out of 5 educators currently teaching in their school buildings wish they weren't.
The reasons reflect not just safety concerns, but inconvenience and maybe a trace of envy. They also speculate that the drive to open middle and high schools is to "appease a small number of (privileged) families...whose communities haven't been as affected by the coronavirus."
In responding to the survey report, DoE said it was based on a small, selective sampling and that Teacher resignations and retirements were presently very low. It also spoke of "constantly doing more to support and develop our school staff."
Whether or not it accurately gauges the percentage of Teachers who would retire if they could, we should "see the forest for the trees."
Teachers are not disillusioned with their profession or less devoted to their students, or estranged the parents and communities they serve or school leadership. Just the opposite.
So why would so many bow out if spared economic loss?
Their lives have been upended by the pandemic. They are mad as hell about circumstances beyond their control and lashing out in pain and indignation that practice of their vocation is being denied to them by fate and human bungling.
Educators are more dedicated to their craft than most other professionals. This can be gauged by the challenges they meet and the chances they take.
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