We LOVE Teachers.

People, there is a save the date at the bottom of this, more information coming next week and possible changes as our local rules change! We are taking baby steps…

I am struggling to understand the planning for the upcoming school year. I am worried for my sister who is a public school teacher in The Bronx in New York City, concerned for all of our experienced teachers who are in higher risk groups and especially for our kids and students who are walking into the biggest shit show of their young lives. We must organize and help. Can you imagine teachers buying hand sanitizer because the district has not supplied enough for your kids? You know teachers have bought supplies for our kids every year out of their own pockets because schools are under funded. Are you betting teachers have enough supplies to protect the health of your kids when we know hospitals don’t have enough supplies? Have you tried to get hand sanitizer over the last 4 months?

I grew up with parents who taught in the public school system their entire careers, I was the kid who never missed school because my parents were teachers (I did skip school for senior cut day). MPY is closed for public classes because the risk of killing people we love is too great. I know you understand this, it is worth repeating. We are not open because it would be dangerous to your health to come to class.

There is something incredible beautiful in what is happening right now. We are all getting to learn together, in real time with all of our mistakes visible, documented and shared immediately as breaking news. We are life long learners and we have a lot to learn. We have equality issues to solve with access to technology and learning spaces, we have special needs students that the system needs to figure out a new way of teaching, there are no easy answers here. We need to address these issues now, we already know these problems and we can solve them if we put our brains together (on zoom).

There is an amazing opportunity in front of us. A chance to fix some massive problems in our society, from text books that do not tell the truth about our racist past with the Native American people and of course Black Americans to classrooms that are overcrowded and under supported with basic supplies. Can you imagine a school curriculum that tells us the truth about our atrocious history with Native Americans and slavery of Black people? Probably not, we grew up with lies! This is our chance to get rid of the structure of standardized testing and funding designed to keep poor neighborhoods under educated and on a schools to prison track instead of schools to work. We survived the education system of our youth, this is our chance to rebuild it for a new future.

Anytime you find yourself trying to “get back to normal” or “the way things used to be,” check your privilege and question why you want to return to the way things were. This isn’t breaking news, “normal wasn’t working.” We were all guilty of continuing a racist society designed to oppress minorities and reward wealth rather than work. We Are The Change. We can build a new culture where we reward learning and promote equality, where we build things and share the benefits of our growth. We can build an education system that nurtures our kids, teaches them important skills and develops them into good, smart, empathetic humans while protecting the safety of our teachers and learning how to live in equality. We can do this because we understand the system was not working before.

This is the biggest battle of our lives, the future of the world depends upon what we do over the next 18-24 months. We all have a contribution to make, whether that is getting on a zoom call about the plans for education or organizing your community to support frontline workers or talking to your kids about how they are doing. We all have the capacity to give more and this is our collective summer challenge. I encourage us all to think about our teachers, students and loved ones. What can we do to protect their health and create a positive learning experience for them? 

We are learning in real time, consider the challenges in front of us, pick off a small piece and work on it. We will make progress. Stay healthy and get stronger, that is the best way to support your physical and mental health. We are doing the work to make sure MPY is ready in mid August with quality programming to support your life and your family. We are streamlining our delivery of classes, our teachers are practicing new safety standards to protect each other as they shoot classes and create for our platform. I know we are all frustrated and ready for change. We can do this together.

Peace, Love and Education,

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