I’m a teacher as well. Our state education department (NM PED) recently said that all public schools in the state will be going to a hybrid model to start the 2020-2021 school year with schools at 50% capacity. (example: Monday/Tuesday = Group 1 and Thursday/Friday = Group 2 while Wednesday is said to be online for all so that schools can disinfect).
Several questions have been brought up over this Hybrid model with very few answers at this time. How will schools be split? How will this be equitable to all students given NM has a large number of families at/below poverty? What about teacher’s children along with working parents’ kids? How are teachers expected to do, essentially, two jobs daily (plan, instruct and grade for in-person classes along with online students) for the price of one (we are getting a 1% “raise”, but our insurance is expected to go up 6%)? Also, NM’s educators average age is around the fourth oldest in the country (I’m nowhere near this range...yet lol) so what measures will be in place to protect the elderly teachers?
Last week, New Mexico’s governor (Democrat) halted our state’s reopening plans citing increased numbers. She stressed that if Covid numbers continued to rise, she would close things down again. NM’s numbers have been climbing by about 250 daily (previous week’s numbers were around 150. She is expected to make an announcement this week on her weekly press conference about schools. I would not be surprised if she reverted to starting the year online as she has been extremely cautious in the reopening of the state.
Regardless of how we start school, us teachers would like to know ASAP as my district is set to return August 3 and students start classes on August 7. My 8th grade students ended up hating distance learning this last Spring and I worry that if we start the year online-only, student participation (and learning) will continue to decline.