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Sunday, May 9, 2021

The district's actions, speak louder than their words... and a pin.

 During teacher appreciation week, DCPS had their faculty meet and watch a video where Greene thanked them for their hard work. The schools, I imagine at the behest of the district, then gave newer teachers blankets and senior teachers pins with years of service broken into five-year increments.

Some of my colleagues, people I respect and appreciate, were quite taken with the gesture. I do not want to diminish how they felt, but I think teachers are worth more than this tiny gesture, and I think it is safe to say more than a few teachers were insulted.   

The district has had numerous chances to show they appreciate teachers all year long, and they passed at every opportunity.

If the district truly appreciated teachers, you would have thought they would have wanted to keep them safe, but all year long, teachers risked their health and worse, because of the woeful contact tracing and the lack of social distancing, which never occurred.

When the state passed its terrible teacher raise bill, which will actually see many veteran teachers lose money the super and board could have stood up and said, that’s not fair; they could have let the public know too, but they didn’t; they passed.

Then several bills attacked teacher’s unions this past legislative session, attempting to end automatic deductions. But, again, instead of explaining that it was no problem to do so and that the union is important, the district was silent.

With testing, they could have rolled it back, taking some of the stress that it brings with it away from teachers, but instead, the district doubled down and increased the pressure. In fact, all year long, the district has acted like there wasn’t a pandemic and put more and more on teacher’s plates, when many teachers were just trying to survive.

With evaluations, schools and the district won't be graded on this year's tests, but teachers will still be. The measures are bad in a good year, and this has not been a good year. If the district appreciated teachers, it would acknowledge that and then work to make sure teachers were evaluated fairly.

Elementary teachers don’t have enough planning, ESE teachers have a terrible IEP program, and nobody has enough time to do everything that the district thinks they should be doing, but instead of helping out, nope we get a pin, that for many, many teachers did not reflect their actual years of service.

All year long and at every opportunity presented, the district has shown its staff they don’t appreciate them. Unfortunately, their actions speak a lot louder than words and a pin.

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