In response to the recent op ed questioning if taxpayer money should support schools that are being taught virtually, please allow me to enlighten you. As a mother of a child with asthma I was thrilled with Flushing’s decision to postpone in person education. I felt and still feel it is a very responsible course of action. Is it easy? No. Ideal? No. Yet, I am continuously impressed by my children’s teachers’ preparedness, organization, and commitment to this process. We have a kindergartner and a 6th grader. Try to imagine having a zoom meeting with 20 some 5 and 6-year olds! But they make it work! Additionally, there are several small group meetings as well as individual meetings. There are various prerecorded videos the teachers have obviously spent countless hours preparing that coincide with paper packets and corresponding work sheets. The art and music teachers prepare lessons that they present “live” and have the kids complete at home and post online. Even the PE teachers meet online with the kids to encourage exercise and mindfulness activities. Less work? Seriously? As a full-time working mom, I can assure you these kids are busy, I know I am. But they’re also learning. I can’t imagine how much work it is for our educators to prepare for each segment of each day. Is this a suitable substitution for post COVID? Of course not; but please don’t fool yourself into thinking this isn’t harder work than a typical class situation.
My niece, an 8th grader in a ‘COVID safe’ county, was quarantined today as a classmate is infected. She will now go virtual for 2 weeks. It took some time to get used to online learning, I can’t imagine just trying to jump into it in the middle of a semester.
Our school district has worked hard to continue making low cost meals available as well as tablets for at home use, materials such as art supplies and the afore mentioned packets of enrichment materials. This is a collaborative effort between families and educators, and it is not easy. Please know that your tax dollars are hard at work. Likely more needed now than ever. We may head back to the classroom soon; the decision should not be based on uninformed inference. — Kerry Zubke, Flushing