Editor’s Note: The following letter to the editor was read at the Framingham School Committee and then submitted to SOURCE media.
I want to thank every educator in the Framingham Public Schools for all they are doing to continue to support students & families. Educators at all levels, high school, middle school, elementary school and preK, administrators, para-professionals, office support, are all engaging in new ways with students & families. Nothing can replicate the work they do in person, but we are all doing our best.
I also want to recognize that we know that many parents are struggling. We know that you are doing the best you can in these challenging times.
Navigating the Framework for Learning, managing your child’s activities, your own work, and sharing space with multiple family members is not easy. We know, because we are doing it too.
Many educators have multiple children at home and are working to keep their own children engaged in learning. They have household members who may be working at home, or be an essential worker, possibly working
even more than usual. They may be caring for a sick family member. They worry about the family they cannot meet up with, who may be struggling with any of the myriad issues that come with isolating at home. These are all the same challenges that you, the rest of the Framingham community are also facing.
I have read some social media posts that some families want more; more work, more direct communication via video chats. And while many teachers are attempting to connect directly with students, it is not possible for everyone to connect.
Every day I talk with educators who are just not able to have live video conference meeting time with students because they are in a situation where they cannot create the uninterrupted time needed to truly facilitate learning.
There is a lot of other work behind the scenes in creating the Framework for Learning calendars received on Sundays. Most educators are working far beyond the number of hours they typically would work – the phrase “building the airplane as we fly it” has been used.
To think that teachers are going to be able to create the same robust lessons, as before, teach them throughout the day, then be available online to answer questions is not realistic.
In fact, that is not and should not be the focus of what we are doing at this time.”
Educators want nothing more than to be back in the classroom with your children. Until then, let’s all care for one another with compassion and patience, and do the best we can to connect students to learning. We know you are working hard; please know that we are too, and we are all in this together.
When we are all once again united in the physical space of our schools, educators will assess individual student needs and adapt their instruction to support them – it’s what they always do.
Until then, keep in mind that every day may not be good… but there’s something good in every day.
Christine Mulroney, President
Framingham Teachers Association