Wednesday, January 12, 2022

And They Wonder Why We're Still Having Problems

 January 12, 2022

Yesterday we got an email from our principal, reminding us in stern language that it is incumbent upon us to be diligent about enforcing mask-wearing for the students.  Parents had complained, he said, and students were feeling uncomfortable about how many teachers weren't following the required mandate.  I agree, frankly, that the mandate should be uniformly enforced. However, just last week we sat in a faculty meeting where several staff members remained unmasked or improperly masked for the duration of the meeting, despite a blanket reminder by both the principal and the deputy principal.  Those not in compliance were never directly addresssed.

I get it; enforcing the mandate can be uncomfortable.  It's uncomfortable for us in the classroom or in the hallways to speak directly to a student who isn't wearing his or her mask appropriately, but we are required to do so, just as we are required to enforce the dress code withinn our classrooms--also not a comfortable topic (and often far more distracting to the curriculum than the actual infraction), but one we are required to address.  So why does this not happen when our supervisors see our staff blatently disregarding the mandate?

Tonight our district held its board meeting.  And guess what?  Although there is a government mandate in place that masks shall be worn indoors at all times if there are other people present (in effect as of now until February 15), there were several in attendance who did not wear a mask.  No one addressed those individuals, nor were they turned away.  One of our deputy superindendents, when asked, merely said there wasn't enough time to check everyone, so they assumed anyone who was unmasked had a medical waiver.  Did our principal assume anyone unmasked in our faculty meeting had a medical waiver because it takes too much time from the task at hand to check?  What if I said in my own classroom that I didn't have time to check, since it would take time away from the curriculum?

No, I can't do that.  Nor would I, since that is one of the protocols in place that is designed to help stop the spread of this particularly transmissible virus.  And yet if the other adults in the rooms are 'too busy to check' and pass off the obligation of practicing the same diligence that is expected of me in my classroom, is it any wonder not all of the kids are taking it seriously?  Our kids are smart.  Our kids are watching.  They look to all of us to be role models.  It's time all of us are.

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