Local teachers say they’re frustrated with virtual classes

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Local teachers and their unions say they’re frustrated with virtual classes, with many saying the classes just aren’t working.

“It’s a very unsettling time, very difficult from anything we have ever experienced before,” said Keith Williams with the Memphis-Shelby County Education Association.

Williams says he’s heard complaints.

“A teacher has to use  one system to call the roll,  another system to give instruction, another system to do grading, another system to communicate,” Williams said. “It’s too much. It’s too much to do.”

Some teachers vented online. One teacher wrote, “Everything has changed. Stop acting like teachers haven’t been forced into a new career in technology. It is hard.”

Another teacher wrote, “”I am tired. I am at my breaking point. All of us feel like we are drowning under the weight of expectations for online learning. I invite you to join me for this daily train wreck. This nightmare has become my daily life.”

Williams believes the school district could have made it easier.

“The district, in my opinion, had ample time to develop curriculum in our own curriculum department, done power points for every discipline. They could have trained teachers very well over the summer. None of that happened,” Williams said.

Danette Stokes, who leads the United Education Association, says the big angst is over testing and evaluations as teachers are already under observation.

“The observation, it is tied to our evaluation score,” Stokes said. “So, that all goes back to the state, and that is what they use against us, and say our district is a level 1, or the teacher is a level 1 teacher, or the school is a level 1 school. And that’s how the closures come about.”

She hopes the evaluations and state test will be waived this year.

“That will eliminate a lot of the stress that we have going on right now,” Stokes said, “because most things trickle down from the state to the district to us as educators.”

WREG has reached out Shelby County Schools. We are waiting to hear back.

The UEA says one of their union benefits is lobbying, and they plan to go to Nashville in January, if possible, and advocate for educators.

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