California Educator

April/May 2020

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S T U D E N T S A N D E D U C A T O R S have been traumatized by the impact of COVID-19. Many schools closed so abruptly that educators were unable to say goodbye to their students and colleagues. Shelter-at-home mandates have meant new and disorienting routines. Teaching and learning remotely is also new for many and can be challenging. And worry for friends and family, along with uncertainty about the future is causing enormous stress. As always, educators have stepped up, brushing aside their own concerns to put on brave faces for students and continue providing them with the best education and safest environment possible. Here are snapshots of just a few of these educators. (For more, and to tell your own story, join CTA's Facebook group Teaching, Learning and Life During COVID-19.) Educators cope with abrupt closures, confused students and uncertainty By Sherry Posnick-Goodwin BE KIND TO OTHERS S E N I O R S A T Ánimo Watts College Preparatory Academy, a Green Dot charter school in Los Angeles, are having a difficult time, says Luis Alvarez, who teaches social studies and student leadership classes. "Seniors are just devastated at the whole idea of not having a commencement ceremony. Many are unsure of what's happening with their grades. Many need to bring up their grades to gradu- ate, take AP exams, and deal with college admissions." Alvarez, a member of Asociación de Maestros Unidos, encourages students with online messages. "I tell them these are unprecedented times and to keep perspective and take comfort in the fact that lots of people, including their parents, experienced the Great Recession and had difficult times and survived them. I tell them their respon- sibility is to take care of themselves, their families, and be good stewards by being kind to others." Alvarez's school moved spring break up by two weeks in response to the pandemic, and he doubts that school will resume in April. Alvarez is enjoying spending more time with and homeschooling his son. He tries to avoid watching the news excessively and tries to stay positive. "I was encouraged that Gavin Newsom says ADA fund- ing will be honored and that we will get our full salary. I am impressed at how well our district and union are work- ing together." "We Are Here for Our Students" Photo: freestocks/Unsplash 14 Luis Alvarez special report

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