Waterloo teachers talk about COVID and other struggles at Ras Smith roundtable | New policies

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Educators have also had to deal with a legislature that they say has failed to consider these challenges, instead preferring to issue diktats like a ban on mask warrants for a population that is still largely unvaccinated.

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“The district as a whole is very good at saying, ‘Do whatever you need to do to make sure the kids are okay,'” said Andy Wolfe, a seventh grade social studies teacher. “That’s what our politicians don’t understand. We’re very good at what we do – just leave us alone.”

Educators lamented the low salaries of para-educators and the lure of higher-paying jobs out of state, blowing North Iowa University graduates as lingering issues they wanted to see addressed.

“As educators, we want to hide the problems, pretend that the problems don’t exist. I said, “We are not going to hide the problems”. If you don’t hide the problems, you get the resources you need, ”said Sheena Canady, director of Carver. “We have very good educators every day who lie about their struggles.”

Smith said after the roundtable that he hoped the Legislature would do a better job of listening.

“We have asked them so much to do, and we have to ask them what they need to be successful,” he said. “They saw the gaps, and they saw them just being really exacerbated by COVID. If we don’t ask them tough questions and create safe spaces to have conversations about what they need, how will we know- we?”


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