Letter for Friday, October 1, 2021

HSTA: Address concerns so we can focus on keiki

On Tuesday, Sept. 28, educators all across Kaua‘i sign-waved in front of their schools. From clean facilities to healthy food to engaging lessons, personnel on school campuses work hard to provide for our keiki. We want schools to stay open and we need them to be safe for everyone — most importantly, the students.

Teachers’ working conditions and students’ learning conditions are synonymous. Educators are exhausted, and this impacts the educational opportunities of our students.

In addition to the planning lessons, educators in a pandemic are expected to be contact tracers when students test positive, enforce safety protocols, make separate assignments for students in quarantine, support substitutes when teachers cannot be on campus, and much more.

The act of teaching in a mask all day, while making sure all students can hear us, is tiring. The inconsistencies for action when there are positive cases on campus, the constant vigilance for student safety, and differing social-distancing expectations create added stress.

There are solutions that must be addressed at the state level. We need the Department of Education leadership to listen and provide those solutions. We need better communication and to be collaborative and strategic in our approach to safe schools. The state is making school-level personnel assume all responsibility for keeping schools operating. Why must teachers always shoulder the majority of the burden of work in our schools with our own energy, time, money and resources? Please address our concerns so we can focus on teaching our keiki.

Sarah Tochiki, Hawai‘i State Teachers Association Kaua‘i Chapter vice president, Lihu‘e

  1. YuCalJoe October 1, 2021 3:38 am Reply

    They don’t teach. They program liberal socialists. Keep your kids at home and give them a proper education with the ability to think independently. Then enroll them in community sports or other social events. Teach them that “good” is “good”, and that “evil” is “evil”. Take them to church to get more positive reinforcement of appropriate behavior. Stay involved in their lives. And teach them that self made victims have no self respect, nor respect for others. All they do is complain about being a victim of something, and wanting something for nothing.

  2. Kaua’i Tutu October 1, 2021 4:13 am Reply

    My dear, I am sorry that this job of teaching our Keiki is too tiring and stressful, maybe it’s time you found another job or retire

  3. manongindashadow0711 October 1, 2021 12:06 pm Reply

    When distance learning came about each student took computers home that the school issued. Where are the computers now? Maybe, in class they (the students) can use them so they can hear the teacher as she/he speaks through a mask.
    Or, get a microphone and a speaker for the teacher to use. So students can hear what is said by the teacher.

  4. Hirondelle October 1, 2021 12:30 pm Reply

    Is this a good time to offer “If you can read, thank a teacher”?

    1. YuCalJoe October 1, 2021 2:00 pm Reply

      Depends. Thank a teacher or parent. My children and grandchildren learned how to read, write, and do math before kindergarten. So they thank their parents, as I did mine.

    2. manawai October 1, 2021 3:24 pm Reply

      At home my mother taught me to read. We spent an hour each day before school. I’ll thank my Mom for teaching me to read.

  5. USAF Brat October 1, 2021 8:11 pm Reply

    Turn all public schools into trade schools. Incorporate distance learning as well as pre-school K-12 face-to-face study hall 1:1 teacher, tutor, nurse, counselor, psychologist supported staffed programs, outside sports including outrigger canoe paddling, surfing, soccer, gymnastics, etc.

    Oahu based with four major island ‘sites’, The Myron B. Thompson Academy charter school did a phenomenal presentation of curriculum that surpassed anything we were used to receiving in local education. Today it is a joke as are the cok, state, and all that are whining harder and longer than ever before. “Come On, man”!

  6. Pete Antonson October 2, 2021 1:58 am Reply

    Do you have any idea what a tiny minority early readers are in? Not just the average family; but, the impoverished for whom education is the great hope for their kids? When are they to teach when they are working 3 jobs in good times and full time at desperation in these times? It really comes down to this though, wise guys. Do you know how many snobs show up with taught to read kids and it turns out to be memorized bible verses and Run Dick Run books? You should also know that you do not have legitimate memory until around 4-5. What you have is what someone else told you endlessly while you were growing up. You know nothing about education; but, you will gladly run down someone who does and is worth 10 of you! It is disgusting!

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