The leader of the nation’s second-largest teachers union sounded off on Twitter about parents who had to stay home with their children during the pandemic, and her comments ignited a strong backlash.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten suggested Monday that parents got a taste of their own medicine by being forced to facilitate remote learning for their children.
“I think many people who saw teachers as glorified babysitters got a reality check this year when schooling had to be done at home,” she tweeted, sharing a story from The Baltimore Sun about educators’ experiences over the past year.
“Teachers deserve respect and recognition for all of the ways they help communities,” Weingarten continued.
She failed to consider that millions of parents struggled this past year with their own issues, especially those who had to work with children at home or and those who faced unemployment.
Thankfully, Weingarten’s generalization about parents’ preconceived notions of teachers did not go unnoticed.
“Perhaps you’re projecting your own feelings?” physician and parent Anna Podolanczuk replied.
“Parents see teachers as highly trained educators. This is why we want teachers and kids back in the classroom, together, so they can keep teaching and learning. If I wanted a sitter I’d send my kid to daycare, which has been fully open.”
Perhaps you’re projecting your own feelings? Parents see teachers as highly trained educators. This is why we want teachers and kids back in the classroom, together, so they can keep teaching and learning. If I wanted a sitter I’d send my kid to daycare, which has been fully open
— Anna Podolanczuk (@AnnaPodolanczuk) May 4, 2021
“I think many people who saw teachers as a profession that helps communities got a reality check this year when teachers refused to do their job,” lawyer Kristin Shapiro said.
I think many people who saw teachers as a profession that helps communities got a reality check this year when teachers refused to do their job. @IWF
— Kristin Shapiro (@mrsshap) May 4, 2021
Teachers unions were often the barricade to get schools to reopen in many districts this school year, making her comments a rather sick joke.
“Public schools have really put kids on the backburner. Parents…want school choice.” @carrielukas @IWF joined @marthamaccallum to weigh in on a report that the teachers union influenced the CDC on school reopenings.
— Independent Women’s Forum (@IWF) May 4, 2021
I think people who saw teachers as teachers are the ones who had the rude awakening.
— Howard Wall ??? (@HJWallEcon) May 4, 2021
Many respected teachers until teachers showed their true colors by being beholding to their union more than the children they teach. The fault isn’t parents or even close. Blame shifting you’re attempting and it is sickening.
— JamesTiberius (@TheBigJamesG) May 4, 2021
In-person instruction at schools not only kept many at-risk students off the streets, but it also served as a protection against abusive relatives.
The huge rise in domestic child abuse is yet another collateral damage of lockdowns.
NSPCC: “The increase in calls and the online has risen to record levels and we had 85,000 calls last year, up 23 per cent on the previous year.”https://t.co/llLE99wzux
— James Melville ? (@JamesMelville) May 2, 2021
It’s true that some parents view teachers as glorified babysitters, but the issue of school reopening is so much bigger than false assumptions.
Weingarten’s tweet said much more about her than the parents she was criticizing, and she should consider apologizing to the families who have braved through the new challenges remote learning brought along.
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