SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – An impassioned plea by a Winter Springs High School teacher to the Seminole County School Board has been viewed more than 50,000 times on a video on Facebook as teachers continue to express challenges with teaching both face-to-face and online.
Winter Springs High School teacher Jenn Devine spoke as a representative of the Seminole Education Association at the Seminole County School Board meeting Tuesday night.
“The school board is not listening to us,” Devine said at the school board meeting. “We have not been asked how we feel.”
So she put out a survey to her colleagues. Of 214 teachers and counselors, she said 85.5% of them are struggling, 59.9% of teachers thought about resigning this year alone and only 8.7% feel support by the school board and district.
“It’s been pretty shocking but not at the same the because teachers have been wanting to be heard for so very long, it was time for someone to get the teachers' voices out,” Devine said Friday afternoon.
She said many teachers are tired and overwhelmed, especially those teaching both Seminole Connect and face-to-face at the same time.
Please take a few minutes today and listen to what SCPS teachers are going through with this moment in education. I'm grateful that my school is going above and beyond to keep teachers safe, but all are not so lucky. The board hasn't listened so far, hopefully, they start now. Teacher's voices matter.Posted by Benjamin Smythe Langevin on Wednesday, October 28, 2020
“It’s wearing teachers down, it’s two different classes we have to give equitable time to at the exact same time and it’s impossible to do - and so in order to do that teachers are killing themselves,” she added.
Executive Director of High Schools Mike Gaudreau said he understands the challenges teachers are facing.
“We know it’s very difficult for the teachers, the ones that are teaching the hybrid, face-to-face and Connect,” he said. “Giving teachers 25 kids, 15 in class and 10 Connect, we were able to limit the number of students who were in the classroom that were face-to-face.”
Gaudreau said school leaders met Friday morning to discuss the concerns brought up on Tuesday and are working on best practices to help those teachers struggling to teach both platforms at the same time.
In the meantime, the Seminole Education Association is hoping to suggest ideas to get teachers to teach either purely in person or purely on Seminole Connect. The district said they are open to ideas for next semester.
“Absolutely that is something we are going to be looking at second semester,” Gaudreau said. “We want do to everything we can.”